Feeds

Google teaches Microsoft's IE9 to love open video codec

WebM for Internet Explorer

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
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.