If you're a fan of Digital Photography, read on. There was an interesting press release yesterday (which I can't unfortunately find on the Presspass site) about how Microsoft is going to be natively supporting the commonly used RAW file format in Digital Cameras in the next version of Windows, codename Longhorn. It seems Robert Scoble couldn't find the link on microsoft.com either, so it's not just me :-)
Fortunately, we don't have to wait for Longhorn as XP is going to get a boost with the upcoming availability of the "Microsoft RAW Image Thumbnailer and Viewer" which will allow you to be able to view thumbnails, preview and print Canon and Nikon RAW file straight from Windows Explorer. In addition, a future version of Microsoft Digital Image Suite will support these features and also provide the ability to organize and edit Canon and Nikon RAW files.
The RAW file format is often likened to a "Digital Negative" and is preferred by many photographers to preserve as much information as possible recorded by digital cameras. There was also an interesting article I found which you might also want to take a look at - a little out of date but still a good read. Managing Your Digital Camera's RAW Files.I'll let you know when the RAW Image Thumbnailer and Viewer is available for download - it will be free to all licensed users of XP. Hopefully it won't be too long to wait.