Nikon has announced a collaboration with Microsoft which will allow easy access to its raw NEF files in current and future versions of Windows. The project is intended to make NEF more widely accessible through current and future versions of Windows, which is ironic considering that just a few weeks ago it emerged that Nikon had encrypted white balance data in its NEF files which meant it could not be read by Adobe Camera RAW. The next version of Windows, Longhorn, will offer enhanced native support. Microsoft and Nikon have previously worked together producing Microsoft's RAW Image Thumbnailer and Viewer for Windows XP.

Press Release:

Nikon collaborates with Microsoft to support standard use of Nikon Electronic Format (NEF) files, in current and future versions of Windows

Collaboration Enables Consumers to easily access Nikon's high quality RAW file format called NEF, in current version of Windows, as well as enhanced, native support in next version of Windows code-named "Longhorn"

2 June 2005 TOKYO - Nikon Corporation (SHIMAMURA, Teruo, President) is pleased to announce Nikon's collaboration with Microsoft Corp., USA, for the support of the NEF (Nikon Electronic Format), Nikon's well received RAW file format. This project will enable NEF files to be viewed and edited with all applications that access images within "Longhorn," the code name for the next version of Microsoft Windows. In addition, Nikon worked with Microsoft on the Microsoft RAW Image Thumbnailer and Viewer for Windows XP, a tool that enables consumers to view thumbnails, preview and print NEF files from Windows XP Explorer. This project will make NEF more widely accessible through current and future versions of Windows, enable consistent file management, and keep NEF's superior image quality intact; the project will make NEF more widely appealing across a broader range of users.

The overview of Nikon's collaboration with Microsoft

Objective and advantage:
The user will benefit from the consistency in operating environment offered by the next Microsoft operating system as supported by Nikon and other camera manufacturers.

Collaboration outline:
Nikon's quality RAW file (NEF) will become available on current and future versions of Microsoft Windows with the implementation of Nikon's RAW format codecs (proprietary program).

Product detail and launching schedule:
Please contact Microsoft for further details of products and their time schedule for product launch.

"By working with Nikon and other camera manufacturers to extend support for RAW in Windows, Microsoft is making using and viewing RAW image files easier than ever," said Kevin Unangst, director of Windows Digital Media at Microsoft. "These efforts with industry leaders like Nikon are improving the digital photography experience in Windows XP today while creating an even more powerful and seamless digital imaging platform in the next version of Windows."

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