Linked by Kroc Camen on Thu 29th Apr 2010 23:04 UTC
Internet Explorer I am almost flabbergasted by the spin and blunt-face upon which this news is delivered. We were just discussing the pot calling the kettle black with Apple / Adobe and now Microsoft have also come out in favour of a closed video format for an open web--IE9's HTML5 video support will allow H264 only. Update Now that the initial shock is over, I've rewritten the article to actually represent news rather than something on Twitter.
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RE[3]: 1-2 Punch
by MollyC on Fri 30th Apr 2010 00:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: 1-2 Punch"
MollyC
Member since:
2006-07-04

Microsoft is just following what the industry is already doing. If they had said that IE9's HTML5 implementation would "only support VC-1 (WMV/WMVHD)" then the complaints would make more sense to me. (Since while VC-1 is an industry standard too, Microsoft is its primary developer (though it does make use of licensed patented tech from others). So Microsoft has closer ties to VC-1. They also helped developed H.264 and have patents to that effect, but they were part of a much larger group in that effort. H.264 isn't a "Microsoft" format, like VC-1 is.)

Back to my original point: The rest of the industry is already going with H.264. Microsoft is following in that. Microsoft doesn't control this. If anyone does, it's Apple.

Theora's nowhere near as good as H.264 (or VC-1 for that matter), according to tests (that I think I've seen cited even by Theora backers here).

Now, I was hoping that IE9 would be neutral and just call the system api to play HTLM5 video, and if the user's computer had the correct codec installed, it would play, if not, then too bad. (That would cover H.264, WMV, MPEG-2, and even DivX, since Windows 7 comes with those codecs preinstalled. The user would have to install Theora himself, or installing IE9 could automatically install it.) But doing that would lead to H.264 as the one and only HTML5 standard anyway because if IE is neutral and the rest of the industry picks H.264, then H.264 wins.

I'd even say that if IE9's HTML5 supported only H.264 AND and Theora, it would lead to H.264 winning in the end, for the same reason.

The only way MS could've helped Theora, and maintiain HTML5's "freedom", was to support Theora and not support H.264. But that would mean supporting the inferior format and starting a war with the rest of the industry that's already going with H.264.

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