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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72 Comments

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

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 :

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 :

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

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.

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.

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.

CoMMo said,
Wow, Microsoft AND Apple are both dissing Flash, Adobe's gotta be feeling the pinch.

They're stupid if they don't do what Jobs suggested: Start making great HTML 5 development tools. Why not? A new product with HTML 5 canvas & JS support, the possibilities are endless.

Northgrove said,

They're stupid if they don't do what Jobs suggested: Start making great HTML 5 development tools. Why not? A new product with HTML 5 canvas & JS support, the possibilities are endless.

Which they announced they are doing.

GREAT! HTML5 seriously, that's cool.

BUT….. Hold on your horses guys. Will it display HTML5 well in IE9 or if it's going to screw everything up and developers will have to develop for IE9, disregarding the fact that it's not the proper way?

PsykX said,
GREAT! HTML5 seriously, that's cool.

BUT….. Hold on your horses guys. Will it display HTML5 well in IE9 or if it's going to screw everything up and developers will have to develop for IE9, disregarding the fact that it's not the proper way?


I think MS has said that they're going to make an effort of supporting some HTML 5 features. I'm saying "some", because that HTML 5 itself isn't done yet, and I figure they're only going to try support what has become common among competing browsers.

tonyunreal said,
Looks like all evil think the same.

You can't possibly say it's evil if Apple & MS say "do not want" about closed platforms in an open medium?

Northgrove said,

You can't possibly say it's evil if Apple & MS say "do not want" about closed platforms in an open medium?
No, software patents are evil. Microsoft and apple own patents that uses h264, and they want to milk the cow. all this h264/flash issue it's all business, nothing more, nothing less.

undu said,
No, software patents are evil. Microsoft and apple own patents that uses h264, and they want to milk the cow. all this h264/flash issue it's all business, nothing more, nothing less.

Really, they're evil? So people who write software don't deserve to have it protected?

Saburac said,

Really, they're evil? So people who write software don't deserve to have it protected?

They do. But we're talking about a closed "standard" (H.264) being used in the open web. It's a contradiction and will cause problems in the future.

Soldiers33 said,
when will ie9 be out?

They'll keep posting platform previews every 8 weeks, so, next month we'll get another one at least. If it's got some sorta UI or if it's just another basic window I dunno.

thenonhacker said,
For once Microsoft, you are making developers happy! Don't spoil this winning streak!

They are doing great and for once caring about the engine.

As far as previews go, I'm excited that they aren't showing the UI. So when it goes RTM we will all be surprised at the look and go wow!

The_Decryptor said,
Shame H.264's licensing is incompatible with the specs, it is a good codec.

Very true, that's the only problem with this whole thing.

Northgrove said,

Very true, that's the only problem with this whole thing.
It's not a problem microsoft nor apple and it's not hard to know why. They make money from its patents.

In other news Microsoft announced IE9 was their last browser, after the public dumped it like hotcakes in favour of Firefox which actually worked with all the old websites out there.

Edited by dvb2000, Apr 30 2010, 7:14am :

dvb2000 said,
In other news Microsoft announced IE9 was their last browser, after the public dumped it like hotcakes in favour of Firefox which actually worked with all the old websites out there.

IE 10 will be based on WebKit and MS just submitted a crapload of open source patches to the WebKit project! Wohoo!

Edited by Northgrove, Apr 30 2010, 7:46am :

dvb2000 said,
In other news Microsoft announced IE9 was their last browser, after the public dumped it like hotcakes in favour of Firefox which actually worked with all the old websites out there.

Am I missing something or did someone sneak something into the HTML5 spec that gets rid of backwards compatibility?

Stetson said,

Am I missing something or did someone sneak something into the HTML5 spec that gets rid of backwards compatibility?

Yea, I think I missed something too.

Elliott said,
Yea, I think I missed something too.

Most of the web standards are never backwards compatible. The idea is to push(force) developers forward.

SputnikGamer said,

Most of the web standards are never backwards compatible. The idea is to push(force) developers forward.

Sure, Canvas isn't backwards compatible, but a lot of HTML5 can be retrofitted or is just ignored by older browsers. For instance, the new tags (article, section, header, etc.) can be added into older browsers with JavaScript. The new input types just show up as text fields. Even the Doctype is technically backwards compatible.