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In previous posts, we described why IE9 will support H.264-encoded HTML5 video. Microsoft and other browser providers see hardware support, customer and partner readiness, and intellectual property rights as key factors making H.264 an excellent choice for video encoding and playback. These posts generated a significant amount of support and suggestions. This feedback together with today’s industry announcements create a good opportunity to follow up and provide more information about HTML5 video support in IE9.
In its HTML5 support, IE9 will support playback of H.264 video as well as VP8 video when the user has installed a VP8 codec on Windows.
As we said at MIX recently, when it comes to HTML5, we’re all in. This level of commitment applies to the video codecs that IE9 will support as well. We are strongly committed to making sure that in IE9 you can safely view all types of content in all widely used formats. At the same time, Windows customers, developers, and site owners also want assurances that they are protected from IP rights issues when using IE9.
We have technical specifics to work through. We want to be clear about our intent to support the same markup in the open and interoperable web, and to do so in a manner consistent with our broad view of safety and security.
In the meantime, in choosing a video codec, customers and partners have many issues to consider.
Today, hardware support is widely available for H.264 both on PCs and phones. (You can read about the benefits of hardware acceleration here, or see an example of the benefits at the 26:35 mark here.) Codecs have been a source of security and reliability issues (link1, link2, link3, link4) for some users. New code often faces security issues; the H.264 codec in Windows 7 has been in broad use for some time now. Sites also need to think about the issues in supporting multiple formats.
As this article points out, the issue of potential patent liability is “ultimately for the courts to decide.” Some web groups have cited concerns about patent issues with similar codecs and the costs that may be associated with shipping codecs not covered by patent licenses. At the same time, there’s been community discussion about the lack of H.264 support in some browsers, for example here (via a comment on the IE blog).
Again, we want to be clear about our intent to support the same markup in the open and interoperable web. We are strongly committed to making sure that in IE9 you can safely view all types of content in all widely used formats. When it comes to video and HTML5, we’re all in. In its HTML5 support, IE9 will support playback of H.264 video as well as VP8 video when the user has installed a VP8 codec on Windows.
Dean Hachamovitch General Manager, Internet Explorer
Articles referenced in this post:
Apple QuickTime H.264 Movie File Remote Code Execution Vulnerability Benefits of GPU-powered HTML5 Bugzilla@Mozilla – Bug 435339 (at comment 60) Bugzilla@Mozilla – Bug 435339 (at comment 79) How Much Web Video Is iPad-Ready? About Two-Thirds. Really. HTML5 video: Browser support (Wikipedia) IEBlog : Follow Up on HTML5 Video in IE9 IEBlog : Follow Up on HTML5 Video in IE9 (comment) IEBlog : HTML5 Video Keynote Day 2 :: Sessions :: Microsoft MIX10 (at the 26:35 mark) Know Your Rights: H.264, patent licensing, and you – Engadget Microsoft fires back at critics of its HTML5 strategy | ZDNet Microsoft Intellectual Property Expansion: Frequently Asked Questions Nov. 10, 2004 Public Advisory: 04.09.10 // iDefense Labs SecuriTeam - Apple QuickTime H.264 Nal Unit Length Heap Overflow Vulnerability Use of Ogg formats in HTML5 (citation reference) (Wikipedia) [whatwg] Removal of Ogg is *preposterous*"
Note: MSDN blogs, which is home to the IEBlog, is currently not taking comments. Because your feedback is super important to us, we’re posting this here today for the Internet Explorer Team.
Brilliant news, well done Microsoft on the right decision!
Does this mean IE9 will also support the now announced webM video format based on the VP8 codec? if this is true this will be such a great news!
Nice to see you are stepping it up and are moving to the standards. Keep up the great work!
Is Windows going to include VP8 at some point? What if the W3C officially recommends that all HTML5 agents should support VP8? Security and stability should be moot points with the code being open source, it will be audited by a number of groups before long.
It would be very nice if IE9 will be shipped with the WebM codec. To check if the codec is installed or not will be horrible for webdevs!! Please ship IE9 with the webM codec and all webdevs will thank you a lot :)
As a Microsoft employee, I'm very excited and proud that we, as a company, are so committed to doing the right thing in IE9 by supporting open and interoperable web. Thanks to everyone working on IE9, and let's keep it coming!
I wish Microsoft would do the responsible thing and bundle VP8 codecs with IE9. Regardless of whatever the codecs will or won't be included - it's great to see Microsoft embrace open standards and leading the way.
Please bundle VP8. Web developers do not want to rely on an external software install. Why wouldn't you bundle it?
If VP8 is free, because they will require the installation of a plugin, because they do not support a natural way?, Has no cost to you, and you will thank you.
So, why the half-assed support for VP8?
If you guys want to be a relevant browser, why not offer for the open codec the same built-in support you are providing for the proprietary H.264?
It's quite a shame that IE9 will not be released on Windows XP (as I've heard, correct me if I'm wrong). That's a serious hit in the face of HTML5 since XP is still broadly used. Nevertheless, I'm happy that Microsoft will implement VP8. Now just see whether you'll implement it the right way.
I'm a Linux user by the way. I'm supposed to be Microsoft's biggest threat :)
that's great about VP8..but what about WebM as a whole? (including the Matroska container and Vorbis audio?)
Yea, I'm also happy to see the use of Open tech. Although like the others have questioned why not just bundle it and remove the hassle for your end users? Can we at least get a required Windows Update for the codec?
The only downside I can see is that if you did include the VP8 codec most would happily switch to VP8, very much diminishing the intensive to encode for H.264. Lets hope this isn't the case as IE does not need anymore bad criticism from the developer community. Finding that WP7 will not using the IE9 rendering engine has already seen some disappointing views from developer active in the growing mobile market.
"I wish Microsoft would do the responsible thing and bundle VP8 codecs with IE9."
the problem is, it's anything BUT clear at the moment that VP8 is free of patent issues. If someone DOES think they can sue, who would be their first target? Firefox, when mozilla is a non-profit with around 50 million dollars revenue, or Microsoft, with about a thousand times more?
<blockquote>In its HTML5 support, IE9 will support playback of H.264 video as well as VP8 video when the user has installed a VP8 codec on Windows.</blockquote>
Couldn't Internet Explorer support any video if there's a codec installed on Windows? Like Windows Media Player? Or is this something hard or undersirable to do?
It would be fun to install a codec pack and have almost any video format running through HTML5.
Alexandre is most likely right. x264dev.multimedia.cx
Reading through gives a good idea why it probably shouldn't be included by MS.
@Alexandre : but the web needs a codec developers can rely on. no one wants to see a message like "please install codec xy" when you visiting a video website and the same message with another codec on next site. if this will happen there are also a few other problems like malware in codec packs and so on.
"...when the user has installed a VP8 codec on Windows." No no no! Do the right thing and bundle it with IE9.
If you're really committed to open HTML5 video, you should ship an VP8 Codec with IE9, so that when users install IE9, they are also getting VP8/webm.
How do you intend to make that dream of "same markup everywhere" a reality with you not supporting the most popular XP platform for HTML5?
WebM support (VP8 etc.) should be *bundled* into IE9. Most people don't even know what a "codec" is, do you really think this could be a good start for HTML5? Seriously, if I have to inform users they have to install something, I'll tell them to install another browser, something more known than a "codec".
Great! Thanks for making the right decision!! You just saved yet another user.
If I can't view high-res videos on youtube with IE9, I will use another broswer -- being able to watch movies on YouTube is one of the most important compatible tests of a browser!
Currently, I use IE for flash-based sites (ie. mainly YouTube), and another broswer (with flash plugin disabled) for untrusted sites, and yes, I don't view untrusted flash-based sites.
Terrible news about the way you intend to support VP8. In fact so much so that you might as well have not posted this blog because you've said absolutely nothing new.
So much for IE 9 supporting HTML 5 and video. "We're all in" - What does that even mean in this context. You're all out and not at all in.
I don't know why people get so excited by such statements. Frankly - everyone should just go home since there is nothing to see here.
Oh, and IE will be released next year? Wow - that'll be like a year too late.
This is off-topic, but did you copy your blog format from Pete Brown, because just like him, your blog is very hard to read because it has a 0 left margin. Please add at least an 8-pixel left margin to your blog so people can read it.
I guess that comes down to how will IE9 handle the missing codec situation. If it's auto-installed on first use, I'm ok with it. If the user has to track down and install a binary, that's very unfriendly and downright dangerous. Your users shouldn't have to find and install extra software to be able to use your browser on YouTube or other video sites.
OK, to open it all codecs maybe isn't a good idea. But I have some more. The idea of <video> tag is to be as easy to use as <img>. Isn't that right?
Windows 7 opens Quicktime and WMV files natively. Why not support them on IE9 too?
Put the Ogg Theora in there too and IE will be the most versatile web browser to play video ever. It would surpass Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Safari. There. 5 codecs. It's like opening BMP, JPG, GIF, PNG and TIF images when the others can't.
ShivK said:<blockquote>Terrible news about the way you intend to support VP8. (…) So much for IE 9 supporting HTML 5 and video. (…) You're all out and not at all in.</blockquote>Well, not quite. Adding support for some codecs that you have to install is better than to have no suport whatsoever. I just think they could add support for other codecs also installed.
WIll Microsoft be suppling the VP8 codec binaries for Windows/IE9, or will end users be relying on it coming from a 3rd party (ie Google, Adobe, etc...)?
If not, it seems like a move to get VP8 support, without actually agreeing to the VP8 license clause preventing VP8 lawsuits, clause. MS are part of MPEG-LA and do own patents on H.264 if MPEG-LA are correct in claiming patents on VP8 (and apparently every modern video codec), it's likely they would be the be the same patents. MS get HTML5 YouTube support while keeping the option of suing those using the technology without paying a MS license (ala TomTom's Fat lawsuit, Steve Ballmer claiming over a hundred patents on Linux and so on).
I love this article. There aren’t many posts that explain the subject matter.
*** How do you intend to make that dream of "same markup everywhere" a reality with you not supporting the most popular XP platform for HTML5? *** XP is 10 years old, there are 2 versions of Windows after it. It's dead. This is like people complaining that the .NET 2.0 runtime doesn't run on Windows Me. Get over it, and move on. Most of the people still on XP are businesses or consumers who have multiple computers (i.e. they have a Vista or machine). You don't surf the new version of YouTube at work, or at least, you're not supposed to. People can download flash, Silverlight, Adobe Air, random toolbars, etc. but they can't download a CODEC? Gimme a break.
The thing with those codecs is a bit complicated. Every little security flaw in IE9's codecs WILL be a major one as codecs run very close to Hardware. I don't like to have such security issues, however, I want to play any video with any codec. My suggesiton is to run all codecs singed by MS directly (like h.264 and V8) and ask for permission to run any other codec, maybe like the UAC-prompt, but only on the webpage in it's tab (and then save the setting for that domain).
All of you enthusiastic about VP8, go look at some comparisons vs. H.264. The visual flaws are obvious on any quality source. Unless you think the future of the web looks like 20th century NTSC, VP8 is nowhere yet ready. Also the licensing body for H.264 may end up requiring fees for VP8 - especially if it runs across patented techniques as the quality issues are addressed. This is not unprecedented, look what happened when Microsoft tried to release the VC1 codec for free use a couple of years back and ended up encumbered by fees from that same licensing group. I'd love to see VP8 succeed but the reality today is more promise than real, a work in progress, and as such, seems to me like the plug-in route is actually a good fit to a codec that needs to evolve a lot to succeed.
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It appears that IE9 doesn't use the preload attribute meaning that videos are downloaded in full, even if a user doesn't play the video. For HD video thats a huge waste of bandwidth
Personally I hate the fact that Window's comes out with a new browser that isn't supported by current products (ie flash). Its a constant struggle to keep up with WHAT FORMAT I'm going to have to learn, use, install, swear at while trying to maintain some sense of sanity. The codec isn't perfect and doesn't always work from my tests. In fact, sometimes the audio plays all on its own without the video even playing. Really sick of the constant issues. Well written article though.
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