Fujifilm is best known for its camera and film products, but the company is now using its photographic expertise to invade new markets as well. The company is reportedly using its background in silver to create touchscreen displays that are bigger and more affordable than current offerings.
Microsoft announced yesterday that it has entered into a patent licensing agreement with Nikon for Nikon’s Android-powered digital cameras. While the details of the agreement were not revealed, Microsoft did say that it will begin collecting royalties from Nikon for certain camera models.
Just in case you’ve been wondering: yes, the latest versions of Adobe’s photo-editing programs are all compatible with the new Microsoft Windows 8. Adobe product manager Jeffrey Tranberry writes,
We’re happy to announce that Photoshop CS6, Lightroom 4 and Elements 11 are compatible with Microsoft Windows 8. The only issue customers might see is with document window transparency/flickering in Photoshop CS6 caused by video drivers. The drivers that ship with Windows 8 may not be the most recent available from the card vendors [...]
I recommend that customers make sure they have the lastest drivers from either AMD or nVidia. If you still have problems with the latest drivers, try setting the Advanced Settings for OpenGL Drawing/Graphic Card Processing in the Photoshop’s Preferences>Performance… dialog so that Drawing Mode is set to “Basic.”
Microsoft has already ensured that Windows 8 is fully backwards-compatible with Windows 7 software. Adobe is just confirming that photographers can upgrade with peace of mind knowing that their existing workflow can still be used on the other side.
Windows 8 and Photoshop [Photoshop Blog via John Nack]
Humans like preserving their memories. That’s one of the big reasons we take pictures. What if you didn’t need to actively do anything to preserve those memories? What if you could simply wear cameras that constantly capture photos and videos that are safely stored for your later viewing pleasure? With the rate at which technology — particularly storage technology — is increasing, we may soon find “lifestreaming” to be the next big thing.
Microsoft apparently thinks so, and wants a big piece of that pie. The company has filed a patent for “life streaming”, and hopes to one day be the data store for all your passively-recorded memories.
Ever wonder what the most viewed photograph of all time is? One leading candidate is Bliss, the photograph chosen by Microsoft to be the default wallpaper of Windows XP. Showing rolling green hills in Sonoma County, California, the image was shot by the side of a highway by professional photographer Charles O’Rear using a medium format camera. It has reportedly been viewed by over 1 billion people since it first emerged in 2002.
Recently, Microsoft has been showing off many of the new features we’ll be seeing in the much-anticipated official release of Windows 8, and the most recent sneak peek Microsoft gave us was of the new Photos app. The app offers a native way for Windows users to organize, view and share all of their photos regardless of what they were taken with or where they’re stored. Read more…
The Microsoft team tasked with building Windows 8 has published a blog post with various user suggestions they’ve decided to implement in the OS. A big thing they’re focusing on is file management — something that isn’t usually touted as a “feature” but is important in day-to-day computer usage. One useful improvement is having the OS read the EXIF data in JPEG photos to automatically present the correct orientation.
It looks like Microsoft is finally putting its war chest and brilliant minds to good use: the company has released a new free app for Windows Phone users called Face Swap. The app uses face detection to let you quickly switch the faces of subjects in your photos. Simply shake the phone and faces will be swapped! The resulting face swap photos can be saved or shared on social networking websites. Hopefully they turn this into a web app soon.
Face Swap (via Engadget)
After being spurned back in early 2008, Microsoft is supposedly on the hunt to acquire Yahoo once again. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Microsoft is working on putting a bid together with Silver Lake Partners, the company that Microsoft recently purchased Skype from. If the buyout succeeds this time, Microsoft will also become the owner of Flickr, which Yahoo purchased six years ago.
In other news, Google recently revealed that 3.4 billion photos have been uploaded to Google+ in the past 100 days. Seems like the service is becoming a popular option for photo sharing.
(via WSJ via Mashable)
Talk about a Kodak acquisition seems to be heating up as giant tech companies — including Google, Microsoft, and Apple — continue to engage in a patent-hoarding war. Just two days ago, Google agreed to acquire Motorola for $12.5 billion in order to snatch up the roughly 25,000 patents owned by the handset maker. Bloomberg writes that the patents held by Kodak may be worth five times more than the company itself, making it a prime acquisition target:
If Kodak’s patents can command $3 billion, acquiring the company would outweigh the liabilities [...] An acquirer would also be able to sell Kodak’s commercial and consumer printing businesses and the digital camera unit for at least $2.5 billion, he said.
Buyers may include Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, Samsung, the Suwon, South Korea-based maker of Galaxy phones and tablet computers, and Google, according to Luskin.
That’s crazy — can you imagine Google or Microsoft buying Kodak to strip it of its patents and then selling off the corpse to some other camera maker? No wonder Kodak adopted a ‘poison pill’.
Kodak Worth Five Times More in Breakup With $3 Billion Patents [Bloomberg]
Image credit: Kodak by t-miki