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Microsoft/Canon alliance puts squeeze on Apple

Microsoft's plan to incorporate Canon's Kyuanos colour management technology into its forthcoming Windows Vista operating system will accelerate the colour printing market and pressure other print companies to engage in similar partnerships, says analyst Gartner.

Microsoft and Canon announced this month that the next Windows operating system, expected at the end of next year, would include the Windows Colour System, which is based on Canon’s Kyuanos technology.

Gartner said it expected other printer manufacturers and software developers to follow suit and partner with Microsoft. The new system would also provide Microsoft with a competitive advantage against its rival Apple's operating system, which is favoured in the graphic arts community, said Gartner.

Microsoft said the solution supported extended colour space, greater bit depth and improved colour. The system will also include a centralised colour control panel and a monitor calibration wizard.

Gartner said it expected to see an increase in colour printing once the Windows Vista Colour System was in widespread use.

The analyst said that despite the advancements made in digital photography and photo printing in recent years, getting consistent colour reproduction across the broadening range of devices that images travel through remained a problem.

This has caused numerous quality issues for businesses that rely on accurate colour printing, as well as for people who print photos at home. The analyst said the Microsoft/Canon alliance would result in improved screen-to-print matching, better overall colour appearance and support for higher-fidelity printing.

In the graphics market, the technology should reduce the costs associated with calibrating colour on devices and the need to print poor-quality images, said Gartner.


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