In 2006, Microsoft started to promote it's own image standard, which originally was called Windows Media Photo.  It was renamed HD Photo in November of 2006.

Rico Malver, a Microsoft Research director who helped develop the format, said that compared to JPEG, HD Photo preserves more subtle details, offers richer colors and takes up half the storage space at the same image quality.

It has been tough for Microsoft to get the image format to catch on, but a recent vote by multiple countries participating in the Joint Photographic Experts Group, which created the JPEG standard, have approved making the HD Photo format from Microsoft into the next JPEG format, called JPEG XR.

XR stands for 'Extended Range".

The format is already built into Windows Vista, but should hopefully take only a year or two to become an industry standard.  Adobe has already voiced support for the format.

via CNET 

November 2007