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Summary:

Microsoft has taken a big step toward standards-based web video by announcing support for HTML5 and the H.264 encoding format in Internet Explorer 9, the next version of its web browser. At its MIX10 developers conference, Microsoft became the latest company to throw its weight behind […]

Microsoft has taken a big step toward standards-based web video by announcing support for HTML5 and the H.264 encoding format in Internet Explorer 9, the next version of its web browser. At its MIX10 developers conference, Microsoft became the latest company to throw its weight behind H.264-based HTML video playback, following YouTube and Vimeo.

Using HTML5, publishers will be able to serve video directly into certain modern browsers without an external plugin like Adobe Flash or Microsoft Silverlight. Up until recently, however, most browsers didn’t support H.264 as the default encoding format. Today, users can access HTML5 video encoded in H.264 with Chrome, Safari or Internet Explorer with Google’s ChromeFrame installed. That means that only about 25 percent of users can actually watch HTML5 video encoded in H.264, according to Vimeo. But adding H.264 support to the latest version of Internet Explorer could boost the number of people that will be able to view video in browser without requiring a plugin.

Although Internet Explorer has been losing share for years, it still holds a sizable portion of the browser market — more than 60 percent in February, according to NetMarketShare. Launched about a year ago, Internet Explorer 8 has roughly 22 percent market share, while IE6 still holds a surprising 20 percent, despite being nearly 10 years old. But that could end soon, as multiple sites, including YouTube, are ending support for that version.

While H.264 is slowly becoming the default encoding format for video on the web, it isn’t yet supported by Firefox and Opera. Despite the fact that H.264 licensing body MPEG LA announced that it will extend its royalty-free license of the video codec for an additional five years, Firefox creator Mozilla continues to shy away from supporting H.264. Instead, Mozilla has decided to support video through the Ogg Vorbis encoding format, which is open source and therefore isn’t encumbered by licenses.

While Microsoft’s support of HTML5 and H.264 could potentially give in-browser video viewing a big boost, there are a number of issues that need to be resolved before the standard goes mainstream. In addition to lack of universal browser support, HTML5 also lacks support for advertising, the majority of which is built in Flash.

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  1. Microsoft is the spawn of EVIL. They have little interest in true standards. Their sole goal is
    World domination and pushing their platform down everyones throat.

  2. Kaltura Launches HTML5Video.org, Publishes HTML5 Media Library Thursday, March 18, 2010

    [...] Speaking of which: HTML5Video.org is heavily branded by and geared towards the solutions available from Kaltura. One has to wonder whether this will help or hurt their effort to gather support for an open format that just this week received support from industry heavyweights like Microsoft. [...]

  3. Microsoft must really want Bing to be the default search provider on the iPhone and iPad. First backing Apple against HTC and now supporting H264 and HTML5 which Apple has been pushing hard for.

  4. CBS Testing Out HTML5 for iPad Videos Thursday, March 25, 2010

    [...] weight behind the new standard for delivering video. Microsoft announced last week that it would support HTML5 video and H.264 encoding in Internet Explorer 9, the next version of its web browser. Meanwhile, YouTube and Vimeo have both [...]

  5. Flash Front End » Linux Magazine: Flash, HTML5 and Silverlight Thursday, March 25, 2010

    [...] has worked hard on HTML5 and is already testing out HTML5 video with H.264 on YouTube. Microsoft is also supporting HTML5 and H.264 with IE9. Oracle seems to be interested in pushing JavaFX, which could be a competitor to Flash if [...]

  6. Mobile Internet Solutions » Can Flash Survive HTML5? Monday, March 29, 2010

    [...] has worked hard on HTML5 and is already testing out HTML5 video with H.264 on YouTube. Microsoft is also supporting HTML5 and H.264 with IE9. Oracle seems to be interested in pushing JavaFX, which could be a competitor to Flash if [...]

  7. Google to Open-source VP8 for HTML5 Video Monday, April 12, 2010

    [...] YouTube, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 and Apple — through its iPad, iPhone and Safari browser — have all thrown their weight [...]

  8. Google to Open-source VP8 for HTML5 Video « urban-listening Tuesday, April 13, 2010

    [...] YouTube, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 and Apple — through its iPad, iPhone and Safari browser — have all thrown their weight behind [...]

  9. Apple May Be Gunning for Open Source Codecs Friday, April 30, 2010

    [...] Safari, Microsoft’s IE9 and Google’s Chrome all support H.264 encoding for HTML5 video, but the Firefox and Opera web [...]

  10. Apple May Be Gunning for Open Source Codecs | YourMacBook.com Friday, April 30, 2010

    [...] Safari, Microsoft’s IE9 and Google’s Chrome all support H.264 encoding for HTML5 video, but the Firefox and Opera web [...]

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