Feeds

Microsoft drops second IE9 preview

Happiness is a codec consensus

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Talk about bad timing. Today, Microsoft released a second developer preview of its next Internet Explorer, just as word arrived that the browser's market share has dipped below 60 per cent and a storm of criticism hit Redmond for handling HTML 5 video with a closed codec it partly owns.

When Microsoft announced the first IE 9 developer preview in March, it did so on a tide of goodwill. IE 9 would be the first Microsoft browser to support HTML5.

But how things have changed.

Last week, Microsoft announced that the browser would handle HTML5 video with the closed and patented H.264 codec, and the goodwill ran dry. Speaking with The Reg, the company said this setup will debut with the third developer preview of IE 9, due in two months.

General manager Dean Hachamovitch also explained why IE 9 will only play video using H.264 instead of free alternatives like Ogg Theora, which is available in both the closed-source Opera and open-source Firefox browsers.

With a blog post on Monday, Hachomovitch had said: "The biggest obstacle to supporting more than H.264 today is the uncertainty. When there's industry consensus and confidence that the uncertainties are resolved, we'll be open to considering other codecs."

What degree of consensus does Hachamovitch want to see? "I want to avoid making a commitment on certain terms," he told us. "The key is, right now we have zero consensus," as there are so many different open-source video codecs. "I don't have the international metric unit of consensus. The greatest consensus is around H.264."

Microsoft hopes that talking up continued standards support elsewhere in the second IE 9 developer preview will assuage the mob - or at least allow Microsoft to recapture some of the glory of March's first preview.

The new preview offers a higher ACID 3 test score, 68 out of 100, and there's a 117-millisecond improvement in speed according to Webkit.org's SunSpider benchmark tests. Microsoft didn't provide exact numbers for context.

Microsoft promised improved performance and graphics support, and the company said it's been working closely with standards bodies. It submitted 79 new tests to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) responsible for HTML 5 compliance, bringing the total to 183. Hachamovitch believes a full and comprehensive set of test suites are essential for developers implementing the finished product. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
HTML5 vs native: Harry Coder and the mudblood mobile app princes
Developers just want their ideas to generate money
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.