Microsoft: HTML5 is the future of the web, will only support H.264

Microsoft on Thursday reiterated their support of HTML5 and H.264 for Internet Explorer 9. Dean Hachamovitch, General Manager of Internet Explorer, posted on the IE blog that HTML5 will be the future of the web and that IE9 would only support H.264 for its video tag. 

For H.264, Hachamovitch reasons that the codec is already an industry proven standard that has wide hardware support. Windows 7 and Mac OS X both offer out of the box H.264 playback so it’s necessary to keep it standard across different platforms, whether through the web or locally.

Critics have been very vocal over H.264’s IP problems as the MPEG LA has ownership over its patents and rights. Dean voices his support for the MPEG LA and claims that the “rights to other codecs are often less clear.” He states that if developers want to remain free from paying future royalties, they can use Windows 7’s underlying H.264 codec and hardware acceleration support.

He concludes that while Flash is the most predominant format for transmitting video content on the web, there are still withstanding issues with reliability, security, and performance that HTML5 video can help solve. Microsoft will continue its cooperation with Adobe in order to help fix its problems with Flash, which "remains an important part of delivering a good consumer experience on today’s web.”

Internet Explorer 9 is currently available as a platform preview for Windows Vista and 7. 

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thealexweb said,
Groan guess they'll be the ones paying the royalties for using H264 once we get past 2016, they've said the won't charge any royalties until then (the organisation that owns H264). But once it's inside every browser we'll might have trouble.

Or by then browsers can support the next new codec for HD?

thealexweb said,
Groan guess they'll be the ones paying the royalties for using H264 once we get past 2016

Microsoft is a patent holder. They don't have to pay a dime.

I wonder if this will change any negative opinions about HTML5, now that Apple isn't the only major player pushing for it.

NeoTrunks said,
I wonder if this will change any negative opinions about HTML5, now that Apple isn't the only major player pushing for it.

Hardly anyone has negative opinions about HTML5, it is a welcome (and long overdue may I add) evolution of HTML. The negative opinions have to do with Apple blocking a technology that is widely used *today* in favor of a technology that is still years away from becoming ubiquitous.

NeoTrunks said,
I wonder if this will change any negative opinions about HTML5, now that Apple isn't the only major player pushing for it.

Not only Apple, HTML5 is co-invented by Apple and Google.
Microsoft has joined in to support HTML5.
Apple, Google and Microsoft the triple giant don't think Flash should have future.
Hachamovitch is correct....Flash is today, HTML5 is future.

k7of9 said,

Hardly anyone has negative opinions about HTML5, it is a welcome (and long overdue may I add) evolution of HTML. The negative opinions have to do with Apple blocking a technology that is widely used *today* in favor of a technology that is still years away from becoming ubiquitous.

I really don't think it's any different than when Apple began to phase out the floppy. The complaints were pretty much the same.

I'm not sharing the mindset that Flash needs to die, but I think that the only way for a newer technology to take off is to keep developers using it. Otherwise, they'll continue to work with what is familiar with them.

Northgrove said,

Interesting -- I wonder if the same is said by Apple regarding their H.264 support.

Doesn't this mean even Firefox can use Windows' H.264 support if it's run on Windows? Then at least those can play that format, which form their main user base.

Yes, developers for OS X and the iPhone OS can use QuickTime (and low level system APIs now on OS X) to decode H.264 for free.

Edited by Elliott, Apr 30 2010, 12:52pm :

Microsoft is copeing Apple ounce again. Apple is the one that invented HTML. Al Gore invented the internet hes board of directors Apple. Microsoft knows the Apple is ahead and that HTML is the future of the internet not Adobe. Adobe does not have place in this world.

Thank Apple for kill Adobe. Microsoft just follow the leader.

Nonny said,
Microsoft is copeing Apple ounce again. Apple is the one that invented HTML. Al Gore invented the internet hes board of directors Apple. Microsoft knows the Apple is ahead and that HTML is the future of the internet not Adobe. Adobe does not have place in this world.

Thank Apple for kill Adobe. Microsoft just follow the leader.

Nope WebKit is based off Linux's KDE's KHTML. But Apple perfected it better

More pressure on Adobe to shift to HTML5 the better. If Quake2 can run in HTML5, then bloody Farmville can, which is a shame, as I would rather never see a tweet or Facebook post about it again.

Septimus said,
More pressure on Adobe to shift to HTML5 the better. If Quake2 can run in HTML5, then bloody Farmville can, which is a shame, as I would rather never see a tweet or Facebook post about it again.

But if it is in HTML5 and not Flash, you could easily write a script to filter out any HTML that contains a reference to farmville.... though I suppose it would be a very empty Facebook page then ><

Edited by SputnikGamer, Apr 30 2010, 3:40pm :

Kyentei said,
where the **** is the .ogg support then?
OGG is a terrible format. H264 is used everywhere these days, especially in HD media (not just digital) Mozilla was dumb to support them. I'm sure they'll switch soon considering every other browser solely supports H264.

Xero said,
OGG is a terrible format. H264 is used everywhere these days, especially in HD media (not just digital) Mozilla was dumb to support them. I'm sure they'll switch soon considering every other browser solely supports H264.

H.264 is a terrible format, purely because it's patent encumbered.

It may be free for web use now, but come 2015, we're going to be royally (or should that be royalty?) screwed.

Edited by M2Ys4U, May 3 2010, 12:04pm :

Granted both Silverlight and HTML5 are impressive, I think MS is only advocating the end of Flash so they can push Silverlight forward. =\

shakey said,
[snip]
Until HTML5 is abundantly used, they need to embrace all facets of the internet and stop trying to just squash out a competitor before the replacement is even awake.

The problem with this statement is that it can't be "abundantly used" until it is supported by the most adopted browsers.

Glen said,

The problem with this statement is that it can't be "abundantly used" until it is supported by the most adopted browsers.

meaning more then half.
so if they put it in IE its ennough?

Shadowzz said,

meaning more then half.
so if they put it in IE its ennough?

if they put it in ie 6 then yes, otherwise no.

Magallanes said,

if they put it in ie 6 then yes, otherwise no.

Quit acting like IE6 was the best browser ever. If just plain sucked. Boo hoo about companies still relying on old crap. Screw them

shakey said,
But to only support it is a little much over the line. There are multiple options, and I think supporting all, giving users the ability to choose is the best.

1. Like Blu-ray‎ and HD DVD, we do not need multiple technology standard.
2. Users won't choose. Content provider choose.
3. No matter what technology win, it makes no much different to user. Content provider will adopt the new technology and provide content accordingly.

Fred Kwok said,

1. Like Blu-ray‎ and HD DVD, we do not need multiple technology standard.

Not when they require multiple different hardware platforms and/or a higher investment for the user, which was the case for BR and HDDVD but not here.
Fred Kwok said,

2. Users won't choose. Content provider choose.

Content providers fall under the deffinition of "user" when it comes to the codecs they use to encode and stream their videos.
Fred Kwok said,

3. No matter what technology win, it makes no much different to user. Content provider will adopt the new technology and provide content accordingly.

Considering that content providers use the codecs, as stated above, and considering also that the codec might not be royalty free (as with h264), it makes a lot of difference.
It might not matter for consumers of the media, but only as long as they use Windows or OS X, or live in a country without software patents (and as long as they don't feel like streaming any video themselves).

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