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[9]: Comment
by lemur2 on Fri 30th Apr 2010 12:29 UTC in reply to "RE[8]: Comment"
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

"Those two are the only possible outcomes. HTML5/H264 is NOT an option.


It will all depend on Google's decision regarding YouTube. If YouTube switches to Theora or VP8, and serves Flash to everybody else - just you wait how quick Apple and Microsoft will scramble to implement Theora/VP8.

I dislike having to be dependent on Google, but let's hope they do the right thing. Chances are slim, but hey, maybe they'll surprise us.

If not, and we stick to H264, we'll have the Jon Grubers of tomorrow blaming everyone but Apple and Microsoft when the patent shit hits the fan (which it will).
"

It probably will come down to Google's decisions.

So what are the factors in Google's decision?

http://lwn.net/Articles/340132/

Google's apparent objection to Theora (namely, Google indicated a belief that Ogg Theora's quality-per-bit is not yet suitable for the volume handled by YouTube) was true in June, 2009. Theora then was version 1.0.

Mozilla funded improvements in Theora (Thusnelda at least).

http://techcrunch.com/2009/01/26/mozilla-gives-100000-grant-towards...

Later on that year, late in September 2009, Theora 1.1 (Thusnelda) was released, with very substantial improvements in Theora's quality-per-bit.

http://hacks.mozilla.org/2009/09/theora-1-1-released/

Theora is an important technology to web developers – it’s the only competitive codec that currently complies with the W3C patent policy.


This statement remains true today.

Reportedly, the current development version of Theora, called Ptalarbvorm, makes at least as significant further improvement in Theora's quality-per-bit.

This may satisfy Google.

Google are reportedly in talks with Mozilla about this very topic, apparently with a view to collaboration.

http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2010/04/google-planning-to-...
(the article speculates about VP8, and that could be the case, but it could also be about Theora).

Maybe VP8 includes licensed use of someone else's technology, and Google will be unable to release it royalty-free.

Maybe Google and Mozilla are both waiting for Ptalarbvorm. Maybe Google is helping Mozilla to write a robust VP8 player that can be included in Firefox.

I don't know, but by looking at this list:
http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/AVC/Pages/Licensors.aspx
and seeing a longish list of not-exactly-friends-of-Google, I see a very strong incentive for Google to escape from the need to be beholden to MPEG LA in order for Google to conduct its YouTube business.

Edited 2010-04-30 12:41 UTC

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