HD Photo (previously WM Photo or Windows Media Photo) is one of the image formats supported within the XML Paper Specification (XPS). The HD Photo format provides excellent compression (lossless, lossy & visually lossless) with support for rich colors. For example, with HD Photo, XPS can support raster image content in the scRGB color space and still provide compression.
Today, JPEG and Microsoft have announced that the HD Photo specification has been submitted to JPEG for consideration for standardization as "JPEG XR"; XR for Extended Range. The proposed JPEG work item also includes work on 'JPEG Systems' which aims to integrate and harmonize many of the technologies developed around JPEG and JPEG 2000 so they can be applied to a wider range of coding and metadata standards. This is a significant step, both for HD Photo and XPS. Standardization of this technology is another example of our commitment to interoperability and should enable an even greater range of applications and solutions to benefit from the capabilities of the HD Photo format.
Jason Matusow and Bill Crow provide more details and there's some initial reporting from CNET and eWeek. While you're off reading those, I'm going to grab a coffee and my 1993 copy of Pennebaker and Mitchell's book JPEG Still Image Data Compression Standard and take a little trip down memory lane...