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*December 19, 2005 – *On Friday, Microsoft released an update to their Thumbnailer and Viewer for Windows XP to include RAW image files. The program enables owners of most Nikon and Canon digital cameras to import, view, sort, organize and print captured RAW image files.
In addition to more support for RAW image files for newer Nikon and Canon DSLRs, the software also offers more saving options from the toolbar in either JPEG or TIFF.
The update also fixes some earlier complaints that occurred when in Windows Explorer, like a glitch that caused certain files to become locked, barring deletion or movement and a default to TIFF when an image was double-clicked to be opened in the RAW Viewer.
The software is touted as having background processing so that there is no delay in previewing the relatively large image files for both Canon and Nikon, and less memory usage when generating NEF thumbnails for most Nikon DSLR models. It also operates with an interface that should be intuitive to regular Windows XP users.
It should also be noted that according to a Microsoft spokesperson, the new Thumbnailer and Viewer software does support thumbnails and previews from the new Nikon D200, but not full RAW conversion since Nikon has yet to release a D200 version of their RAW SDK software.
According to Microsoft’s White Paper, the software supports the following:
Canon EOS RAW images (.crw, .cr2, .tif)
Nikon Electronic Format images (.nef)
Bitmap images (.bmp)
JPEG images (.jpg, .jpe, .jpeg)
Windows Metafile images (.wmf)
Tagged Image File Format images (.tif, .tiff)
Graphics Interchange Format images (.gif)
Portable Network Graphics images (.png)
The update is available here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=d48e808e-b10d-4ce4-a141-5866fd4a3286&DisplayLang=en