I have recently been involved in some discussions with other photographers regarding perceived limitations within Microsoft Windows (My Computer, Windows Explorer etc) in being able to view Raw files produced with various cameras.

The complaint is usually along the lines that the PC will only show an icon and not the actual image contained within the Raw file.  I remember having this problem in Windows XP and I remember having to hunt around the internet to find a third-party program to allow me to view the contents of these files.

Users of newer versions of Windows, Vista and Windows 7 might be pleased to know that the OS (Operating System) can actually be made to show these files fairly easily; all that is required is a codec (some software that explains how the file is made up to windows) and away you go.  if you think this might be useful to you, then here is a link to Microsoft’s website that explains more fully.