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In the News
- Microsoft Meets EU Deadline, Submits Compliance Proposal
- Longhorn, XP Users Get a "Raw" Deal

==== In the News ====
by Paul Thurrott, thurrott@windowsitpro.com

Microsoft Meets EU Deadline, Submits Compliance Proposal
I'm sure you've been hanging on the edge of your seat, so I'll cut to the chase: Microsoft met its European Union (EU) deadline and submitted a plan to trustbusters that spells out how it plans to comply with its EU antitrust ruling. The submission, which slipped in under the midnight deadline last night, reportedly explains how Microsoft will share technical server information with competitors and distribute versions of Windows XP that don't include Windows Media Player (WMP).

"We have submitted proposals, and we are awaiting a response from the \[European\] Commission," a Microsoft spokesperson said. A spokesperson for the EU corroborated Microsoft's story, noting, "Contacts continued between the European Commission and Microsoft until late last night, and the Commission will now carefully analyze what's on the table." The contents of Microsoft's plan aren't available publicly at this time; the EU spokesperson noted that examining the plan will probably take "a few weeks."

At issue is Microsoft's noncompliance with the EU's March 2004 antitrust ruling. If the EU finds Microsoft's plan unworkable, it will give the company 10 days to submit a revised version. If still unsatisfied, the EU will convene a special meeting of its 25 member nations to determine whether to begin fining the company until it complies. The EU can legally fine Microsoft about $5 million a day.

Microsoft can appeal that fine. However, an EU spokesperson noted that the company would have to continue paying the fine during any appeals process.

Longhorn, XP Users Get a "Raw" Deal
Microsoft revealed this week that it will add support for "raw" digital camera images to both Windows XP and Longhorn. XP raw image support will be available in the next few weeks via a new PowerToy add-on. But Longhorn, due in late 2006, will have much more powerful and integrated support, Microsoft says.

Raw digital camera images, sometimes referred to as "digital negatives," are essentially uncompressed, unprocessed pictures that are taken at a camera's native resolution. For professional photographers, these types of images are much more desirable than those formatted in the more common but compressed JPEG formats.

The difficulty with providing raw image support is that virtually every digital camera uses a slightly different raw image format. So Microsoft is working with major camera makers, including Canon and Nikon, as well as Fujifilm and Adobe Systems, to develop raw image support for Longhorn. In Longhorn, users will be able to view, print, and edit raw images. XP users will be able only to view and print raw images. Today, most photographers use high-end tools such as Adobe Photoshop to edit and manipulate raw images.

Microsoft is also working with these companies to standardize the raw image format so that there won't be problems going forward. And the software giant is working on a new set of APIs that will help third-party developers create Longhorn-compatible imaging applications that support the raw format. Finally, Microsoft will also add raw-image support to its popular Digital Image Suite product line.

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