Those with immense love for photography, also share some grievance with the hassles of image conversion if presented with an image in a RAW format. It just seems too much to take for getting pristine quality images. However, according to an official Windows Live blogpost, it is now possible to directly view images in the RAW format by just connecting the DSLR camera to the computer, with the installation of a simple codec from Microsoft. The software comes in 32-bit and 64-bit variants, and can be used on Windows Vista, Windows 7.
The Microsoft Camera Codec Pack
Beginning from today, the user, on connecting his DSLR onto his computer to view a RAW image will get a notification, wherein he will be asked to download the Microsoft Camera Codec Pack from the Download page. Either that or the codec pack can be directly downloaded and installed here. Also, it is being learnt that users will also be able to add their own edits to the copies of the RAW image and not the RAW image itself, in addition to viewing it. This is done so that the original RAW image stays safe. The codec pack creates a copy of your RAW image in a JPEG format or JPEG-XR (a superior quality one at that) for the user, for editing.
The video below should tutor you better.