Feeds

Google teaches Microsoft's IE9 to love open video codec

WebM for Internet Explorer

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Updated: This story has been updated to show that the software offered by Google is not a browser plugin per se – though Google originally called it a plugin on its download page. It's software that installs on Windows and it can be used by other Windows applications. You can find an update here.

Google has released software for adding the open source and royalty-free VP8 video codec to Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9 browser. IE9 – which made its official debut on Monday – uses the royalty-encumbered H.264 codec, and Microsoft has made it clear that it has no intention of including VP8 on its own.

In a blog post in January, Google indicated that such software was on the way.

Google open sourced the VP8 codec last May under a royalty-free license, rolling it into a large media format known as WebM. The format was promptly adopted by Mozilla's Firefox and Opera as well as Google's Chrome browser, but Apple and Microsoft have stuck with H.264. Both Apple and Microsoft are part of the MPEG-LA patent pool that licenses H.264.

With WebM, Mountain View hopes to create a royalty-free video codec standard for use with the HTML5 video tag. The web giant continues to use the H.264-equipped Adobe Flash on YouTube, saying that HTML5 doesn't yet provide everything the video-sharing site requires. But part of the problem, Google says, is that the major browser makers have yet to agree on a common codec.

Even after Google released WebM, the company's Chrome browser continued to offer H.264 as well. But in mid-January, the company announced that it would finally drop the royalty-encumbered codec from its browser. This has yet to actually happen, though the world assumes that it has. Chrome 11 debuted this month, and it includes H.264.

Google tells us, however, that it still intends to remove H.264. And to further nudge the industry towards WebM, it's giving IE9 users the option of installing a plug-in that adds WebM to Microsoft new browser. Google has a habit of doing such things. The company already offers a plug-in – Google Chrome Frame – that adds Chrome rendering and JavaScript engines to older versions of Internet Explorer, essentially turning Microsoft browsers into Google browsers.

You can download Google's WebM IE9 software here. Google calls it a technology preview, and it works with IE9 on both Windows 7 and Windows Vista. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
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.
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?
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.