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February 12, 2007 – After last month’s release of the new free Windows Explorer Photo Info Tool 1.0, Microsoft recently reported compatibility problems with Nikon NEF files in Windows Vista, Canon Digital Rebel JPEG files, and TIFF images in Aperture.
Microsoft Photo Info 1.0 is an Internet browser add-in tool that allows users to change picture metadata within Internet Explorer, without having to open up a separate program. However, Microsoft reports that the new tool could make reading Nikon RAW files in the Vista operating system difficult, among other issues.
Users have experienced errors after downloading the Nikon RAW Codec version 1.0, the Windows plug-in to support new file formats. After installing the NEF codec for Windows and changing metadata with the Photo Info Tool, some users have had problems opening the NEF files in Adobe Photoshop and other applications.
Although Microsoft maintains that Photo Info is compatible with JPEG, TIFF, and HD Photo files, Photo Info may not support all types of RAW files. Microsoft stated that the NEF files used with Photo Info can still be opened with Nikon Capture, but users should exercise caution in other applications and back up Nikon files.
Another reported problem with Photo Info involves automatic file size changes. Canon Digital Rebel JPEG files become smaller and compressed after using Photo Info. TIFF file sizes become larger than the original, and IPTC metadata in TIFF files that are edited with Photo Info or Vista are not compatible with Apple Aperture.
Microsoft is investigating all the reported problems. Photo Info Tool users can find a full listing of compatibility errors at http://download.microsoft.com/download/1/0/1/101f3e20-5506-4991-b34b-ffab89f4ebe9/Microsoft%20Photo%20Info%20FAQ.doc.