Greater Interoperability for Windows Customers With HTML5 Video


Google recently announced that its Chrome web browser will stop supporting the H.264 video format. At Microsoft we respect that Windows customers want the best experience of the web including the ability to enjoy the widest range of content available on the Internet in H.264 format.

Today, as part of the interoperability bridges work we do on this team, we are making available the Windows Media Player HTML5 Extension for Chrome, which is an extension for Google Chrome to enable Windows 7 customers who use Chrome to continue to play H.264 video.

We believe that Windows customers should be able to play mainstream HTML5 video and, as we’ve described in previous posts, Internet Explorer 9 will support playback of H.264 video as well as VP8 video when the user has installed a VP8 codec.

We are committed to ensuring that Windows customers have the best Web experience, and we have been offering for several years now the extremely popular Windows Media Player plug-in for Firefox, which is downloaded by millions of people a month who want to watch Windows Media content.

We also recently provided an add-on for Windows 7 customers who choose Firefox to play H.264 video so as to enable interoperability across IE, Firefox and Chrome using HTML5 video on Windows.

For many reasons – which you can read about on other blog posts here and here – H.264 is an excellent and widely-used video format that serves the web very well today. As such, we will continue to ensure that developers and customers continue to have an optimal Web experience.

Claudio Caldato,

Principal Program Manager, Interoperability Strategy Team

Comments (94)

  1. Sergii Lutai says:

    Cool!

  2. Amtiskaw says:

    H.264 isn't an open standard and isn't supported by Firefox or Opera, so in what way is this in support of interoperability? Commercial interests absolutely, but interoperability certainly not. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

  3. Anon says:

    "In other news, Google creates a plugin for IE9 that adds VP8 support, to improve standards and interoperability for the web"

    I can see this getting ugly :-)

  4. Asa Koonz says:

    Great solution. But why wouldn't Firefox and Chrome do this directly. If I understand correctly the H.264 support is already built in to both Apple and Windows platforms and they can use it without  licensing. The only thing they have succeeded in is having all their users run Microsoft code in their browser.

  5. Simon says:

    @Amtiskaw: you do know what interoperability means right?

    I think it's nice to see that MS is actually trying to keep the nerd-interest-only video war clear of the ordinary user and makes sure that it all "just works".

    As a webdeveloper i have interest in the discussion about "open" / closed / free (as in pay with your privacy) / licensed etc but as a user i don't give a s**t and i simply want to be able to watch all video's on the web… 90% of the -users- on the web think the same.

  6. mh says:

    @Anon –   Guess you didn't read the post.   IE9 will support VP8 if you have the codec installed.    @Amtiskaw –  H.264 is built into almost every video hardware product made and is widely supported.   This is a great announcement because it allows users to still have access to that content without being forced to switch browsers.    I guess some people are never happy.

  7. Miranda Vink says:

    Kudos for Microsoft. Personally I'm a Firefox user, but I'm also a firm supporter of H.264/X264. I can play this format on my PC, on my phone, on my Blu-Ray player. H.264 works, so let's stick to it instead of starting another format war.

  8. SBUK says:

    It's rare these days that I get to say this without sarcasm, but classy move Microsoft! Genuinely!

    @Amtiskaw: H.264 is an open standard. Open != Free.

    @Anon: Google have already done this with Chrome Frame.

  9. kiz says:

    What about Windows XP.

  10. Cuuri says:

    ".. Windows users should be able to play mainstream HTML5 video".

    Sounds like Microsoft is giving the finger to Chrome(frame). Love it!

  11. Don says:

    Amtiskaw, h.264 is an open standard. Don't confuse free with open. In comparison, WebM is NOT an open standard because development is controlled exclusively by Google. It is royalty-free, however.

  12. Matt says:

    @Amtiskaw H.264 *is* an open standard; it's just not free.

  13. Pym says:

    "We are committed to ensuring that Windows customers have the best Web experience". You should start by making a good design for this blog.

  14. ISV_Damocles says:

    So, when can I get that Windows Media Player plugin for Firefox or the H.264 plugin for Chrome? I run Ubuntu, by the way…

    Oh, what's that? You won't support other operating systems? Then you're not actually trying to *improve* interoperability, you're trying to make the web incompatible with other operating systems, as you did before with IE-specific rendering and buying off Netflix to use that abomination Silverlight.

  15. jhurdlow says:

    Why not just tweak the next drop of Silverlight to support the HTML5 video tag instead? The H.264 support is already built in, and then I wouldn't have to have two plugins installed that have duplicate functionality. But otherwise… Thank You!

  16. Austin says:

    I hope that this is available for OS X as well, because I use RockMelt, which is based off of Chromium, as my secondary browser (Safari is, in my mind,  better than Chrome/Chromium).

  17. Bob M says:

    @Amtiskaw Actually, H.264 is an open standard. Do your homework before you go spouting off about things you don't know. You're the one who should be "ashamed".

  18. David says:

    @Amtiskaw, in what way is VP8 an open standard? It's not even a standard; its format is proprietary. H.264 is actually a standard. Now, VP8 has an open license and h.264 does not.

    Might be a good time to learn the difference between telling someone they should be ashamed of themselves.

  19. Doug says:

    Get a Mac.

  20. WTF says:

    Sergii,

    You need to get your "open standard" definition right.  H.264 was developed by a large number of people/companies. It's as open as you will ever get.  And anyone is free to implement it (i.e. you can start from scratch and build it).  In the end you do owe money to a patent pool and that is a different story about being open or not.

    Now for flash.  GIVE ME A BREAK. everyone on the web says they want flash and that's it's open.  flash is not open. read the licensing terms.  Only ADOBE can make the flash plugin.  Is that open?

    Now try and disable flash and go to a website that supports html5.  YOU CAN"T in most cases!  You pretty much have to spoof the USER_AGENT and make your browser look like an apple product.  Again is this open?  If it was truly open then i should be able to get around FLASH.  Guess what folks  I CAN"T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    If you truly want openess then let the web developers and the users do things with and without flash.

    Finally,  WebM.  This codec is no better than h.264.  there are over 1 billion cellphones sold each year and none of them have webm.  The fact of the matter is that the ones that have h.264 will continue to have h.264 and therefore the licesning will already be paid.  So why have webM — for the PC world?  O.k. i can understand that.  BUt now to the next paragraph.

    The part about webm being a proprietary VP8 codec that is FREE is a joke.  The beauty of any open standard that has a licensing pool is that there is a KNOWN and FIxED cost.   You can't say that of VP8.  Sure Google says it's free but there are two things to consider:  1) they are surely violating patents  to some degree and the patent pool will come after them. If you don't believe that then look at MS WMV9 codec and see why they are a part of MPEGLA — it's because they violate patents and it was better if they joined.  If VP8 is not part of a patent pool then the costs ARE NOT FIXED and you may end up paying way more than for h.264 because the patent holder DID NOT agree to a fixed price as it being part of a standard.  2) This is the bigger one.  If you read the fine print about WebM/VP8, Google says you can use this freely as long as you don't try to claim patents on it.  And the 2nd you do then they revoke your right to use the codec.  So here is their strategy.  Let's say Motorola has a patent that VP8 infringes.  If motorola tries to get money out of any company that uses VP8 then motorola can't put VP8/WeBM on their handset.  Guess what, they won't.  You can repeat this process with a number of OEMS.  Finally you get down to a few patent holders that don't care about browsers and android and these are the ones that are critical to VP8/WebM success.

    Finally, Google is just dropping H.264 and pushing WebM because of the business play against Apple. It makes sense for them to try and build up the great idea of Flash Support so that it interfers with iOS.  Granted this probably isn't a bad idea, but give me a break.  Who wants FLASH. It is not open and just causes problems (see above)

  21. Wondering says:

    Is there a way you could make this work on platforms besides Windows 7?

  22. Anon says:

    How did you work around the licensing issues?

  23. andyd says:

    @amtiskaw

    actually this is the exact definition of enabling interoperability, i.e. referring to the ability of diverse systems and organizations to work together. you deserve 3 facepalms.

  24. Aidan says:

    @Anon RTFA "as we’ve described in previous posts, Internet Explorer 9 will support playback of H.264 video as well as VP8 video when the user has installed a VP8 codec"

  25. Guy says:

    "We believe that Windows customers should be able to play mainstream HTML5 video…"

    Is that ALL or SOME of Windows customers? I understand not supporting XP, but what about Vista? Is this Windows 7 only?

  26. Anonymous says:

    Shouldn't everyone at the 'Interoperability Strategy Team' be concerned with fixing memory leaks in the Firefox plugin released earlier, instead of just releasing them for other browsers too?

  27. NItr8 says:

    @Amitiskaw

    H.264 IS an open standard. There are companies that sit down and work on improving the code and standard and anyone can join the team. WebM ISN'T an open standard cause only Google gets to decide how the codec is improved.

    You seem to be confusing open standard with open source. please educate yourself

    You also don't seem to understand what interoperability means.

  28. Thane says:

    What I'd like to know is when you plan on fixing the Firefox H.264 plugin – I'm running Windows 7, 64 bit, and am experiencing a HUGE memory leak with your plugin.  With it disabled, memory usage is around 250mb; once I enable it, memory usage skyrockets during an average browsing session to over a gigabyte, and the browser becomes unresponsive and requires a restart.  I've googled around, and noticed that I'm not the only one experiencing this issue.  Any plans for an update?  Until there is one, I won't be utilizing your plugin.

  29. Peter says:

    If you were interested in interoperability, why not support VP8 out of the box? It's free. Why require additional installs? Until you do, this just seems cynical — you're just pushing proprietary standards over open ones.

  30. Thane says:

    Any plans on fixing the Firefox plugin?  I'm using Windows 7, 64 bit, and without your plugin, my firefox memory useage is around 250mb.  Once I've installed it, it starts off at 250mb, but grows out of control very quickly to over 1gb of memory usage, and the browser becomes unusable and must be restarted. (I have 4gb of RAM, so it's not a matter of running out of physical memory)

  31. bob dobbs says:

    More M$ BS about interoperability and standards…Does anyone actually believe this kind of drivel anymore? Tired, played tactics from a lurching dinosaur. that already smells dead.

  32. Anon says:

    This isn't supporting interoperability, it's supporting proprietary formats that make the web less accessible and open for all. You guys are doing it for corporate greed, and sure it is logical for Microsoft to do it, but you don't have to lie in your press releases. This is a step backward for the internet, while Chrome and Firefox are taking a step forward.

  33. chiaki says:

    Well played Microsoft.

    @Amtiskaw, the joke is on you, as H.264 actually is an open standard (ISO/IEC 14496-10), unlike WebM (yet). It's also about the only modern codec which has industry support in terms of hardware acceleration (keyword: interoperability). It's just not royalty-free for content distributors. Now, I wonder who might that be…

  34. Anon says:

    This isn't supporting interoperability, it's supporting proprietary formats that make the web less accessible and open for all. You guys are doing it for corporate greed, and sure it is logical for Microsoft to do it, but you don't have to lie in your press releases. This is a step backward for the internet, while Chrome and Firefox are taking a step forward.

  35. mario says:

    Great! But is this free to use? Or does it require a windows license? Oh, and will this also work with Firefox on W2K?

  36. chiaki says:

    Well played Microsoft.

    @Amtiskaw, the joke is on you as H.264 actually is an open standard (ISO/IEC 14496-10) unlike WebM. It's also about the only modern codec which has industry support in terms of hardware acceleration (there goes interoperability). It's just not royalty-free for content distributors. Now, I wonder who might _that_ be…

  37. Sean says:

    I think it's great that Microsoft is interested in increasing interoperability.  I expect to see WebM codecs included in Windows by default (perhaps included in the IE9 installer?).  After all, your goal is to increase interoperability.  Also, I'm looking forward to WebGL in IE9 as well.  Again, in the name of interoperability.  Thanks Microsoft!

  38. Lee Atkinson says:

    @Amtiskaw – H.264 is an open standard, with a published spec and multiple, interoperable, implementations

  39. Mitch McBride says:

    How about working on an SVG plugin for IE?

  40. What's the big deal? says:

    I really don't see what the big deal is. Oh no, a plugin! It's only useful if people download it anyways. The best browser would support all of the major formats for legacy and compatibility reasons.

  41. Does not work. says:

    Both mentioned plug-ins don't work in Ubuntu 10.04 lucid. Where can I report this bug?

  42. David Alexander Sugar says:

    Why would anyone truly want an extortion encumbered media format, and how can an extension to an existing product be trusted if the source is not available, especially when one considers it is from a company with a long and very well demonstrated history of deliberately sabotaging competitors products?  True interoperability and honest intention would be demonstrated by being able to directly play existing non-encumbered media formats, like .ogv, on Microsoft Windows, as well as offering extension to other people's products in a like manner that they are provided, rather than a source secret binary plugins with a eula.  This same issue goes for a certain firefox extension that was installed in a truly malware fashion for .net support.  These statements and actions only further demonstrates intent to promote deliberate disinformation while further harming and defrauding users in the process.

  43. WarpKat says:

    Hmmmmmmmmm…sounds to me like someone's grasping at straws now.

    The one thing I don't understand is why exactly MS even wants to have this battle?  If it's not making enough dinero on the patents, and is in fact losing dinero over it, does it even matter?

    This is really more of a battle over HTML5 than video, even though it's a big part of it.

    So let's pose a few questions to Microsoft:

    If WebM were to be declared the "defacto standard" for video over HTML5, where would Microsoft stand?  Would it respect the assignment of WebM as the chosen codec for HTML5?

    Would it adopt WebM as the video format for HTML5 in IE or would it drop video altogether?  Or would it remain that IE only support h.264 natively in the <video> tag in defiance of the chosen video codec to be used in HTML5?

    Why even bother since Adobe Flash already plays h.264 and is slated to play WebM soon?  Best of both worlds that virtually everybody supports!

    I honestly don't mind using Adobe Flash.  I really don't.  Is it a pain sometimes?  Yes.  Absolutely, but when it works, it works and works well.  I'm currently using it to play ffmpeg encoded video (using x.264) and when WebM is supported in Flash, I'll be switching to it.  That's my stake – being able to play video in a chosen video format that isn't encumbered by patent non-sense.

    If Microsoft was really supportive of adopting an "open video standard" for HTML5, it would encourage its MPEG-LA partnership to "open up" and dismiss royalties altogether (since you're losing money anyway) and it would cost you more to sue people using it out of the scope of the license agreement – where you would lose even MORE money through frivolous litigation, but at least you'd gain some PR, albeit negative.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

  44. Ben says:

    Good Job.

    definitely a win for open standard.

  45. Ben says:

    @Amtiskaw

    Apparently you don't know what open and standard means.

    en.wikipedia.org/…/MPEG-4_AVC

    H.264/MPEG-4 AVC is a block-oriented motion-compensation-based codec standard developed by the ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) together with the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG). It was the product of a partnership effort known as the Joint Video Team (JVT). The ITU-T H.264 standard and the ISO/IEC MPEG-4 AVC standard (formally, ISO/IEC 14496-10 – MPEG-4 Part 10, Advanced Video Coding) are jointly maintained so that they have identical technical content.

    On the other hand WebM's spec is fully controlled by Google. Last time I checked, Google is NOT a standard body. WebM's code might be open sourced, but it is closed and proprietary at heart.

  46. Chris Hardin says:

    This is fantastic.  Excellent support of a standards-approved open specification format already in widespread use.

  47. Nagilum says:

    Stupid move².

    Any H.264 that will play on Safari will have to be base profile and that will _not_ look better than WebM.

    In addition to that this will only serve as an excuse for websites not to move to WebM right away.

  48. Anonymous says:

    @Warpkat

    restricting formats would be quite antithetical to the principles behind the w3c. The <video> tag is expected to play a role similar to the <img> tag in which every browser supports a wide variety of formats, including bmp, ico, png, jpg, gif, and other formats. Limiting video encoding would be as ridiculous as someone declaring .tiff the official image format.

  49. Sam B. says:

    Good job Microsoft! Thanks for doing this. I wish they supported HTML5 natively, but this is as god a solution as we can get. Now, if only someone would make a Firefox or Chrome addon for Mac OS X to enable H.264… 😉

  50. Person says:

    "you don't know what open and standard means"

    If you're going to be self-righteously condescending, try not to put your foot in your mouth. "Open" is a much overused word with little meaning, just like "Web 2.0"

    Nothing patented can possibly be "open". If I can't implement it for free and give it away to everyone, or even sell it to millions of people, then it's not open. If it can't legally be part of a massively successful open source project like Firefox or Chromium, then it's not "open", and the word loses all meaning. Microsoft is a well-known enemy of openness, and the story of H.264, which they hold patents on, is just another chapter in the life of a hyper-aggressive cartel convicted of anti-trust.

    Condescending others over the definition of something ill-defined makes YOU look like an idiot.

  51. Colum says:

    H.264 is a closed source format. By you guys creating a plugin that encourages use of closed source formats, you are causing a step backwards is the development of the internet.

  52. WarpKat says:

    @Ben:  The argument isn't "standard" – it's about the patent minefield involved to implement the technology.  h.264 has a fairly restrictive license despite the pinata candy being thrown around:  The MPEG-LA has pretty much said end users may use it as they see fit without payment, but their license stances change every 5 years.  They could very well reverse that stance a few years from now.  That is probably the most unsettling part of it, at least to me, where I will be using video within my corporation.

    So if Google releases their WebM without the risk of suing the user or asking for payments, while the MPEG-LA does a limited version of that, as a consumer, I don't want that to change and I don't want the risk of getting sued by one company, let alone the conglomerate that makes up MPEG-LA.

    Thanks to Google for irrevocably releasing WebM into the public as it stands.  Even Microsoft has to admit that this would be good for business.  I think the posturing needs to stop by Microsoft.

  53. Mike Pulsifer says:

    I, for many reasons, do not use any Microsoft products in my home.  However, my antipathy for Microsoft does not prevent me from giving credit where credit is due.  This is a bold and smart move that's actually GOOD for consumers.

    /hats-off

  54. Niko says:

    You know, Microsoft, if you hadn't insisted on making IE the ubersuck browser that it was for so long, then people using Microsoft Windows would be able to watch the video formats that Microsoft appreciates. By the way, what does it say about your system design that the majority of Windows users can't watch video in a format that you officially endorse, because their browsers don't support it?

  55. Danny says:

    Nice, now fix you browser so that it passes Acid3.

  56. Googmeister says:

    Despite Google's rather strange blog post, Chrome still supports H.264 out of the box.  The only change is that it won't support H.264 in the HTML5 video element.  H.264 is still supported through the (built-in) Flash Plugin, as it's always been.

    So, for example, this H.264 extension could have been implemented in Javascript/Actionscript/Flash, which would have the added benefit of working on all versions of Windows and Mac OS X.  If Microsoft is so concerned with interoperability for all Windows customers, why did they go the route of something that only works on Windows 7?  There's a gazillion instances of Flash on microsoft.com, so they don't appear to have anything against using this technology.

    This is just bizarre all around.

  57. jareau says:

    bla bla bla… installed. Moving on with life now.

  58. Sure says:

    Some People need to get their facts straight.

    H264 is neither open, nor free. It does not (yet) cost the user anything to use it. But implementing it WILL most definitely cost money some time, when it has become the de facto standard. Currently all security we have considering h264 is that the rights holders pledge not to enforce their licensing scheme. WebM on the other hand will always be free.

    The only argument against webm would be the fact that h264 already is on so many devices. However, that wasn't the case 2yrs ago. Those things can change fast, especially when google backs it.

  59. Terrin says:

    Good job Microsoft. Google's move to confuse end users in place of its so called open video format when H.264 is already established and accelerated through hardware is BS.

  60. JD says:

    I think it's hilarious that Linux users are complaining about the lack of an H.264 plug-in.  I thought the open source development model was supposed to enable speedy development, but they got bested my Microsoft, known for sluggish turn-around.  In the end, Google was indirectly boosting Flash, which is the most closed commonly used format used on the web today.  Where is Google's high and mightiness on Flash?  Somewhere in a desert with the tumbleweeds.  I'm surprised that more people aren't calling them on their double standard, including a Flash plug-in while saying H.264 support is for the birds because of it's supposed closed nature.

  61. Rodney says:

    It is rare for me to praise Microsoft – but this is a genuinely Good Move.  You have made some very good points here – especially n highlighting how VP8 is not really open if it is infringing H.264 patents.  

    Now how do I find find an OS X version of the H.264 extension for Chrome…..  Apple??? (I don't think so!!)

  62. flying sheep says:

    *facepalm*

    they mean something by removing it. why won’t you let people use internet explorer if they like patent-ridden commercial software?

  63. fs says:

    Amtiskaw: of course is h.264 an open standard. it may not be free, but it's open. also for private uses you can use h264 free, so stop whining.

  64. Mathias Bynens says:

    Your plugin replaces the <video> element with an <object> element, effectively killing the video API. #fail

  65. Too late says:

    I'm already using Ubuntu.

  66. Tom says:

    People let's try to keep this as a professional tech discussion rather than an emotional/opinions debate, as there are plenty of other places to voice one's feelings.

    That being said, I don't use Chrome (but some of my clients do) and so my question is the same as others:

    What about support for:

    1) Vista

    2) XP

  67. PeopleStartThinkingPLEASE says:

    Well, BEFORE posting your "Yupiiiiie" about that plugin, you should consider that the H.264 video standard is patented.

    And the patent holder changes the licence more often than his underwear. Do you know why youtube videos are only 10 minutes long? Well YES because of THAT PATENT. It says that all usage is FREE for videos smaller or equal than 10 Minutes. If H.264 wasn't a standard … your youtube video could also be LONGER than 10 tiny minutes. Thats why Google is the good one in here, trying to establish another FREE video codec. Just think about you want to use the video tag on YOUR WEBSITE and POST A VIDEO LONGER 10 MINUTES … then YOU are the CONTENT PROVIDER who has TO PAY.

    So think before you decide whats good and what not.

  68. Ben says:

    @Person

    You don't know what you are talking about. x264 is an open-sourced implementation of an open standard (H264).

    It can be used with any open source project.

    You are free to contribute code to x264 anytime you like.

  69. Ben says:

    @Colum

    there is no such thing as source code in H264. H264 is a spec.

  70. Tom says:

    @Sean – My understanding is that one of the concerns to implementing the VP8 codec into IE9 (or elsewhere), is that if in the future VP8 is found to violate some patent (such as one of those from h.264 or elsewhere perhaps), then those implementing the codec might be liable – remember that Microsoft is just one of the patent holders of h.264 (you can see others at  http://www.mpegla.com/…/Licensors.aspx).  From my perspective if my company produced a browser (or implemented any sw with a codec), I would also be extremely cautious/hesitant about implementing the VP8 codec (or any relatively new codec) at this time – perhaps later though. At least with h.264 and MPEG-LA a company has a somewhat more reasonable confidence that patents are not being violated and that resulting lawsuits will likely not ensue. This is not a 100% certainty, but then again nothing usually is.

  71. @Thane I need more details to repro the problem, is the working set growing while watching a video? can you please contact me directly (claudioc A T microsoft.com)

  72. Reggie Mayer says:

    "At Microsoft we respect that Windows customers want the best experience of the web including the ability to enjoy the widest range of content available on the Internet in H.264 format. "

    Support WebM and Vorbis. That will give me the best experience of the web.

  73. Ben says:

    @PeopleStartThinkingPLEASE

    "Do you know why youtube videos are only 10 minutes long? Well YES because of THAT PATENT. "

    Pretty sure that's not the reason. H264 is free for non-commercial videos. It only cost money if you are making money from the video. Kinda like how youtube is making money with users content.

    so yeah it will cost Youtube money one way or the other if they keep using H264. And I have no problem with that, because they are after all not a charity.

  74. Tom says:

    > Do you know why youtube videos are only 10 minutes long? Well YES because of THAT PATENT

    @PeopleStartThinkingPlease – That's interesting and is not my understanding but perhaps I'm mistaken. I found this which seems to explain the reason for the 10 min limitation and it seems to be due to the fact that they often found content exceeding 10mins was copyrighted material (like movies and such) and so enacted the limitation to try to reduce that issue. Here's my source: youtube-global.blogspot.com/…/your-15-minutes-of-fameummmmake-that-10.html

    Also from what I found Google is also an h.264 licensee and so should be covered for the use of the h.264 codec anyway: http://www.mpegla.com/…/Licensees.aspx

    If you happen to have encountered something different let me know.

  75. Matthew says:

    This is absolutely fantastic! Thank you Microsoft :)

    I love Chrome and was very disappointed when Google decided to drop the technically superior H.264. I'm really glad to see these extensions and plug ins becoming available. Thank you!

    I will of course be seriously looking at IE9 when it arrives, the hardware acceleration looks fantastic. I'm crossing my fingers that CSS transitions and the history API make it through!

    Thanks again!

    P.S.

    Amtiskaw, look up what interoperability actually means.

  76. Anon Omyus says:

    Hmm…HTML is open source but why would I want to use a non-open source codec when I can use a codec supported by the 2 best browsers chrome and Firefox…dunno I guess I rather pay royalties…

  77. Mac User says:

    Any chances of bring this extension to Chrome Mac?

  78. NoBenThatsNotRight says:

    "Do you know why youtube videos are only 10 minutes long? Well YES because of THAT PATENT. "

    Congratulation – you win the prize for FUD of the day. You are really sugesting there is a patent that applies to any video that is more than 10 minutes :)

    Let's counter this and hope something this dumb never rears it's head again. Here is teh one hour state of the union address ON YOUTUBE! http://www.youtube.com/watch

    It's great to meet people on the Internet with diverse view points. But on the other hand there are many to spread apparent falsehoods. Not sure what the point is, but please do it eslewhere.

  79. This comment will probably be removed says:

    Interoperability – Interoperability is a property referring to the ability of diverse systems and organizations to work together (inter-operate). (Wikipedia)

    How is only enabling ONLY windows users to view some content interoperability is beyond me. Never forget IE6 and what it has done to the web. Don't support M$ lockdown of the internet!

  80. WebKarnage says:

    Best announcement from Microsoft in some times in terms of attitude. Round of applause here from a big Mac user.

    People's confusion between free and open is bad but understandable. Google spend their time trying to mix the 2 up in people's minds.

  81. Muahahaha says:

    "…we respect that Windows customers want the best experience of the web including the ability to enjoy…"

    Haha thats why IE had and still has the worsest HTML support, do not support any open standard including OGG etc.

    Sure, they're doing that for the customers welfare…

  82. muahahaha says:

    "…we respect that Windows customers want the best experience of the web including the ability to enjoy…"

    Haha thats why IE had and still has the worsest HTML support, do not support any open standard including OGG etc.

    Sure, they're doing that for the customers welfare…

  83. A-nony-mouse says:

    Great! But does this also mean your codex wil also be available for Windows XP users like me?

    Or I'm I being forced to buy a new Operating System first before I can enjoy video's in H.264 format.

    (and a new computer, a new monitor and a new printer.)

  84. freechelmi says:

    thanks Microsoft for making me laugh this morning with such as ridiculous plugin !

    MOving all the goodness of HTML5 to an <object> Windowsmediaplayer !  What a great step backward !

  85. WarpKat says:

    Yanno…here's one thing you IE devs could do instead of debating the codec in the <video> tag…get rid of ActiveX.

    It's problematic.  You know it.  I know it.

    It's NOT NECESSARY.

    Here's an example.  I recently deployed a video module for one of my applications.  It uses JW Player – a pretty nifty Flash-based video player.  Very functional.  Very clean.  Very scalable.  I'm sure you've heard of it.

    Anyway, upon deploying it, I discovered that playing video in IE using this player was such a bother that all it did was give me a black screen.

    A BLACK SCREEN.

    Wow.  I had Flash 10.1 installed…Firefox seemed to work fine.  So did Google Chrome.  Opera?  No problem.  And even, I dare say, Safari had no problem!

    Wanna know why video worked everywhere else except IE?

    BECAUSE IE REQUIRED THE ACTIVEX VERSION OF ADOBE FLASH!  I hadn't installed it prior to my testing.  I didn't know it was required.  But in all seriousness…really…is it absolutely required?

    I'm not quite sure what's so difficult about employing plug-ins using conventional methods.  If other browser devs are doing it, why can't IE devs do it?

    Honestly.

  86. Highland Cathedral says:

    VP8 has won, sorry M$ you have lost this one. I have personally removed H264 form our organization in favour of VP8.

  87. @freechelmi unfortunately there are no other ways to extend the video support in the browser. We know our approach has some limitations but it is an acceptable solution for now. And most users won't see this as a step backward if they can now watch MP4 videos in their browser.

  88. Rosco says:

    WebM is an inferior codec that Google is pushing to further their own cause and try to slow down Apple and others. They really don't care about what's open. Their support for Flash is an example. H264 has been in development for many years and has been perfected by their team and companies like MainConcept and the open x264 project. People still think Google doesn't have an agenda will find out soon. They can't hide behind their "Don't be evil" facade much longer.

  89. freechelmi says:

    I prefer the Opposite : install chrome Frame  on Win and Xiph plugin on mac , so everybody on Pcs could play Webm, and it's the only format. Devices such as tablets and phone will have specific formats such as H264

  90. John H says:

    Windows media player plugin for firefox, written by port25 never even worked, it has fail rate over 50%. Has constant problems with x64 bit systems.. Port25 not even responds on comments on their own website. Hopefully this extension would be better

  91. Well, while I do appreciate this Chrome extension, I believe you should provide some explanation as to why this extension requires such an extensive permission set to the system. Trying to install this extension, Chrome tells me that this extension would be permitted to do pretty much everything on my computer, which is… how to say… a little over the top.

  92. @Isaac_s

    The plug-in uses a DLL in order to be able to use Media Player installed on the machine to playback videos. Because of that Chrome assumes the plug-in requires access to the whole machine, in reality the only thing the plug-in uses is Media Player.

    we will submit the plug-in to the Chrome AppStore so the overall install experience will be better and users can know upfront about the type of permissions required by the Plugin.