Introducing HD Photo

A New Name and a New License

No, it's not another file format.  We have re-christened Windows Media Photo as HD Photo.  We've listened closely to the feedback from our partners and customers, and in response, we have made some important changes, including this new name.

We have also made a substantial change to the licensing.  The previous Windows Media Photo Device Porting Kit (DPK) evaluation and distribution license agreements are gone.  We have replaced them with a straight-forward click-to-install End User License Agreement (EULA) for the new HD Photo 1.0 Device Porting Kit.  It's now easy for anyone to receive the complete HD Photo DPK, including the compressed bitstream specification and the ANSI-C reference source code.  The DPK is free, and we have eliminated all distribution royalties.  HD Photo is 100% free for all developers.

We're really excited about these major changes!  We've heard the requests and we've responded.

The Latest Downloads

The new HD Photo 1.0 Device Porting Kit (DPK) is now available for download:

Windows developers don't need the DPK; HD Photo is included in Windows Vista and available for Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 with either .NET Framework 3.0 (for managed code applications) or Windows Imaging Component (WIC) for unmanaged code applications.

The HD Photo Feature Specification 1.0 (also included as part of the DPK) is available separately here:

The released version of .NET Framework 3.0 is also available:

The SDK for .NET Framework 3.0 can be downloaded from here:

The released versions of Windows Imaging Component (WIC) are also ready to go:



A File Format By Any Other Name

For the immediate future, we will still use the Windows Media Photo name to refer to the implementation of HD Photo in Microsoft products that are already shipping.  This includes the initial release of Windows Vista, the XML Paper Specification (XPS), .NET Framework 3.0, and Windows Imaging Component (WIC). 

With the new name, the spec now adds support for a new file extension - .hdp.  However, the various Windows implementations won't recognize this new extension until some updates have been released at some point in the future.  (No, I don't know exactly when that will be.) So we're recommending implementers stick with the current .wdp extension.  You can "future-proof" your application by also adding support for the new .hdp extension. 


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