September 8, 2015 10:00 am

Announcing VP9 support coming to Microsoft Edge

By / Senior Program Manager

Today, we’re excited to announce that WebM/VP9 support is now in development in Microsoft Edge. VP9 is an open source video format that offers efficient compression to stream HD content at lower bitrates, and is well suited to UHD streaming. Initial support for VP9 will be available in Windows Insider Preview builds soon. This is part of our continuing effort to expand codec offerings in Windows. We continue to evaluate other formats and look forward to receiving feedback as we work on implementing them.

VP9 Support

Our initial VP9 implementation in Microsoft Edge will support adaptive streaming using Media Source Extensions, and will be detectable using the MediaSource.isTypeSupported() API. It will be specifically targeted to meet the needs of websites that use VP9 to deliver video in combination with MP4/AAC or other audio codecs already supported by Microsoft. We are working on future support for VP9 for media tags and local playback, as well as considering support for additional audio formats likely to be used with VP9 such as Opus.

VP9 Usage

Our implementation of VP9 will support software decoding and, when supported by the device, hardware decoding. Since decoding video is computationally complex, the best experience with the software decoder will be seen on more powerful desktop and laptop computers.

Given this, VP9 will initially be implemented behind an experimental flag in Microsoft Edge as we continue to work with industry partners on broader support for hardware decoding, and as we evaluate support for additional audio formats. Users can view their current experimental flag settings and change the defaults by navigating to “about:flags” in the browser. A setting will be available that alternatively enables or disables VP9 support.

Other Formats

We are committed to continually adding new formats to Microsoft Edge to ensure our customers have the best streaming experiences. As part of this commitment, this week Microsoft became a founding member of the newly formed Alliance for Open Media. This announcement represents a commitment from Microsoft and other member companies to specify and develop new open technologies and formats that meet the needs of future media applications. VP9 and other video technologies, such as Thor and Daala, will be a starting point for this new media format work.

Beyond this, there are other existing open source audio and video formats we are evaluating, beginning with OGG, Opus, and Vorbis. We will continue to regularly update Microsoft Edge Platform Status page to identify formats that are in development or under consideration for future releases.

A preview implementation of WebM/VP9 will be available in an upcoming Windows 10 Insider Preview release. We’re eager for your feedback so we can further improve our media format support in Microsoft Edge!

– Andy Glass, Principal Program Manager, Silicon, Graphics & Media
– Jerry Smith, Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Edge

Updated November 25, 2015 11:30 am

Join the conversation

  1. Great ! Waiting for new build + extension support for Lumia and PC ( Adblock , Qr code generator of Microsoft Store Apps + games , bing or google automatic translator

  2. Fantastic news! Wikipedia is currently looking at updating our old Ogg Theora & WebM VP8-based infrastructure to produce WebM VP9+Opus, so this is very interesting to us… Due to patent licensing issues we can’t use MP3 or AAC for audio tracks, so having Opus support in Media Source Extensions would be very helpful for us.

    Currently Wikipedia supports media on MS Edge by using Ogg Theora+Vorbis and an emscripten/asm.js library to do playback: … this runs surprisingly well, but native VP9+Opus would provide much better quality for the bandwidth!

    We’re really happy about Microsoft’s commitment to the Alliance for Open Media and truly free-to-use codecs.

  3. Wow, Microsoft supporting an open codec and considering supporting more. Thank you!

  4. Would be much more helpful to get the disastrous Edge GUI functionality up to par with at least IE11 instead of new technologies. Technology support is not all that makes for a good browser.

    • Hi Kai,

      Thanks for your input! This blog is focused on the developer audience and the web platform, so it generally isn’t the place to discuss client app features like those listed above; we’ll typically be very focused on platform features and new web technologies. That said, we’re always eager to hear feedback on your experience using the browser – the best way to give feedback on the interface is via the Windows Feedback app or the Microsoft Edge uservoice page here:


  5. > VP9 is an open source codec

    “codec” stands for “encoder/decoder”. VP9 is a format, can’t actually encode/decode anything. A codec is any program actually implementing transformation to/from the VP9 format. I know that at least the H.264 specification doesn’t actually explain how to encode, and I assume the same holds for VP9.

    VP9 is a video coding format: .

    x264 and OpenH264 are examples of codecs. Apache’s codecs for things like Base64, Hex, Phonetic and URLs are another example: . Base64 is a format, and nobody would call Base64 a codec.

    An analogy is the difference between the C Programming Language (~=video coding format) and a compiler (~=codec).

    As J.M. wrote on the Wikipedia talk page of “video coding format”: “The difference between a specification and an implementation is one of the most crucial things to understand in the world of digital technology.”

  6. Very great news. I think it´s definetly a step into the right direction! Now we have full blown vp9 support across all major browsers! 🙂

  7. Can somebody from Edge team explain why executing this in console:
    var row=[]; for(i=0;i<10000000;i++)row.push({id:i, price:i%200 })
    for(i=0;i<10000000;i++)row.push({id:i, price:i%200 })
    for(i=0;i<10000000;i++)row.push({id:i, price:i%200 })
    and then line below eats 8GB of ram and about 3 minutes to "calculate":
    row.length // i repeat: 3 minutes!!! on Phenom 4×3.2Ghz, 16GB RAM, 2xSSD

    Thank you!

  8. My point is that executing the same on IE11 takes just few seconds… So IE11 seems to be faster in this case 10-20x times than Edge. Obviously this has to be a bug 😉

    • Thanks for the find! I passed this on to the Chakra team who can reproduce this and are investigating it now.

  9. Great news!

    Would be even greater if you support VP9/Opus in dxshow, so every application can make use of it!