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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" If this were actually the case, then Google would have no reason to have purchsed On2.
Sure they do, they're in the video business. They may like H.264 now but they are also going to make investments into other tech to possibly use in the future. "

Yes. It is likely that they will use VP8 in conjunction with HTML5, make it royalty-free, thereby get it accepted as the standard for video on the web.

This will result in Google no longer being beholden to MPEG LA for permission to run their YouTube business.

" Mozilla will not ship a h264 decoder within their product. The W3C will not recommend a royalty-encumbered standard.
Mozilla doesn't have to ship one, there is no pressure on their users to switch when the major video sites will still offer their videos in Flash. "

Google and Adobe are starting to get chummy also. Flash has, in the past, supported VP6, and it may well be the case that very soon it will support VP8 (possibly while still retaining support for h264). This would allow sites to offer videos as Flash/VP8 rather than Flash/h264, and enable all those sites to also free themselves of control by MPEG LA, whillst still being able to use their Flash tools to write the site.

"Rumour has it that Google and Mozilla might be about to get together and resolve the web video codec situation.
So what if they open VP8? They're currently serving H.264 videos and they're not going to stop. They've made their decision and opening VP8 is just a fruit basket for FOSS fans. "

Why not stop? One would reduce costs and no longer be beholden to the whims of MPEG LA. It could happen as simply as an update to Flash.

"You have a logical disconnect here. IE users running XP require a plugin to view video no matter what is used to encode & send that video. If an XP/IE user visits YouTube today, they are directed to install an Adobe Flash plugin in order to view videos. Most users do this without batting an eye.
Where is the logical disconnect? I already pointed out that Google could require users to install anything. Let's say that MS also included Theora in IE9. So what? Google would still serve HTML5 H.264 to IE9 users and older browsers would get Flash with H.264. Other publishers would do the same. Theora would be supported in a majority of browsers but publishers wouldn't bother using it. They're not going to build multiple files for ideological reasons. Google is the one holding the magic key here called YouTube and everyone is in denial of it. It might be more comforting to blame MS or Apple but Google owns the BBC of the internet and they are pushing H.264. Google is God here in that they are the only entity that has the power to set a codec standard by their influence alone. "

So all it requires is Google to re-encode their videos, probably with VP8.

It is estimated that Google has in excess of one million servers. Google could arguably be able to re-encode on million of its most popular videos within a few minutes, and another million within a few more minutes, and tens of millions of its most popular videos within an hour.

Where is the problem here?

Do you realize how many Flash videos exist on Microsoft websites?

Not many? Google has millions, but Microsoft wouldn't have that many.

From the company that is pushing a Flash competitor? They are in no way coming out a winner in all this. They wanted Silverlight to replace Flash video on major sites, not HTML5. H.264 was the lesser of two evils to them.

Why exactly isn't Theora, or an opened VP8, the very least of three or four evils then?

Edited 2010-04-30 04:01 UTC

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