Sonny writes "In a few months time, internet users will be able to make use of the JPEG2000 standard which, its developers claim, enables web graphics to be downloaded much faster than is currently possible. This will not only make graphics-heavy web pages easier to download, it will also preserve image quality. The JPEG standard compresses image files which are then transmitted across the web faster than uncompressed files. Now, researchers at universities around the world have developed JPEG2000, the next-generation image-compression technology under the auspices of the International Standards Organisation. It is the first major upgrade of the standard since it first appeared in the early '90s. What is also important about the technology is its ability to send files without loss of data, which is not the case with current JPEG files. To take advantage of a JPEG2000, web browsers will need a Plug-In for either Internet Explorer or Netscape browsers. These free plug-in's are expected to be available later this year. The extension for the new files will be ".jp2"."