Feeds

Firefox 4 sneak peek flaunts Google open video codec

Be like Opera

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Mozilla has turned out a Firefox 4 prototype that includes Google's newly open sourced WebM video format, while Opera has rolled the format into a developer build of its own.

Last month, Google open sourced the VP8 video codec that it nabbed as part of its $124.6 million acquisition of video compression outfit On2 Technologies, and this was paired with the open source Ogg Vorbis audio codec to create a larger royalty-free media format known as WebM. Apple and Microsoft continue to put their weight behind the royalty-encumbered H.264 video codec, but Mozilla and Opera have sided with Google, vowing to use the WebM in tandem with the fledgling HTML5 video tag. Both outfits were on hand at Google's annual developer conference when WebM was announced.

On Monday, Mozilla released a fifth developer preview based on its Gecko 1.9.3 rendering engine, which will eventually morph into Firefox 4, due for official launch in November. A beta should arrive later this month. The latest developer preview — detailed here — adds not only WebM but also hardware acceleration on Windows and Mac for HTML5 videos viewed in full-screen mode.

You can download the preview for Mac, Windows, or Linux, and for the first time, 64-bit builds are available for Mac and Linux — though these do not include support for 32-bit plugins and are considered "highly experimental."

Meanwhile, Opera has added WebM to its latest developer snapshot. When Google announced WebM, Opera showed off a demo build that uses the new format, and this was released to the web. But this marks the debut of the format in an official developer preview.

Available for Windows, Mac, and FreeBSD/Linux, the preview also adds support for a handful of other open standards, including HTML5 offline web applications, geolocation (though this is only partially available on FreeBSD/Linux), and web workers, for running background tasks. You'll also notice that Microsoft Bing is now the default search engine on the speed-dial page — though Google is still the default for the main search box.

The latest developer build of Google Chrome also includes WebM, but we aren't likely to see such support from Apple or Microsoft anytime soon. Both are part of the MPEG-LA patent pool that licenses H.264. Steve Jobs has indicated he has no interest in WebM, and though Microsoft has said it won't object to IE9 surfers using WebM, they'll have to install it on their own. IE9 will ship with H.264. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.