Keeping my eye on WebP ("weppy")

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Google and the projects they host. My blog is hosted by Blogger and I've used their search engine, GMail, Web Fonts, Chrome browser, Page Speed extension, Google Maps, Google URL Shortener, and YouTube service.

Google has received a lot of praise for their open source WebM video format, mod_pagespeed Apache module, contributions to WebPageTest.org, and disruptive technologies like Android, Chromium OS, Google Wave, svgweb, Google Chrome Frame, and Google Earth.

Lately, I've been looking into Google's new image format called WebP (which is based on technology from their WebM video project). If you have the Chrome or Opera browsers, check out the WebP gallery to get a quick taste for the compression and quality comparisons. You can also check out their latest research comparing WebP to JPEG and also an amusing third-party review comparing WebP to JPEG and JPEG XR (Microsoft's competing image format). The data looks promising, but the current support is minimal (i.e. Chrome and Opera browsers). The feedback has been mainly negative or lukewarm although promised future enhancements (such as support for lossless, transparency, and metadata) are tempting enough to keep most of the big players (and me) keeping a watchful eye on developments.

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