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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