Posts tagged ‘microsoft’

Microsoft IE9 will Support VP8 Video Technology and May Replace Flash

May 20th, 2010, manager of IE department Dean Hachamovitch said Microsoft IE9 browser will support VP8 video CODEC technology, the purpose of which is to improve IE9’s openness and compatibility.

WebM Project

Google has announced the debut of WebM project on Wednesday’s I/O developers technology conference. WebM is an open, royalty-free network media file format, and is supported by the commercial software giants such as Mozilla(the developer of Firefox browser), Opera(the developer of Norway browser), AMD, Nvidia , Oracle and so on.

WebM adopts VP8 codec technology, which is Matroska media technology based on the network video technology developer On2.. Early this February, Google has taken over On2 with $1.06 million dollars. On2 is well-known for video compression technology, and this technology has been widely applied in all kinds of desktop software and mobile applications. On2 customers include Adobe, Skype, Nokia, Infineon, Sun, SONY, American network television servicer Brightcove etc.

Microsoft Response

Regarding Google WebM, Hachamovitch said on Wednesday’s night in blog: “IE9 supports not only HTML5, but also H.264 video and VP8 video. However, the premise is the users must have the VP8 codec pack installed in Windows.” He stressed that there are still some specific technical problems need to be solved before IE9’s perfect support to VP8.

Hachamovitch said: “I want to make it clear that we hope to maintain IE’s security and stability, but at the same, improve its openness and compatibility. We promise to the customers that IE9 shall support all the frequently-used media formats. Meanwhile, the intellectual property rights of Windows clients, developers, and all internet users, will be protected.

Standard Competition

Fully support to networl video is one of the new functions of HTML5 internet browsing standard. But for the network video standard, Ogg Theora and H.264 are deadlocked. Microsoft, as one of the important contributors to H.264 standard, decides to continually support it in Windows operating system and IE9 browsers. Apple also stands by H.264 and said the H.264 video technology will become the alternative products of Adobe Flash.

However, Mozilla and Opera have different voices. They disapprove H.264 format. In addition, the insiders who establish the the technical specification of HTML5 also said, network video standard should not only choose specific codec.

Insiders said, WebM project may help reduce the conflict between Ogg Theora and H.264. But if WebM can not get the support from Microsoft and Apple, it is very hard to be the actual network video standard. Apple hasn’t comment on Google’s release of WebM project yet.

Highly recommended by Mozilla

Mozilla preachers Chris Blizzard wrote in blog on Wednesday: “VP8 is superior to Ogg Theora speaking of codec quality, and it can compete with H.264 speaking of picture quality. We will support WebM in Firefox, and today we released the beta Firefox 4.0, with the early support to WebM.”

Opera also launched a beta browser which supports WebM format. Opera CTO Hakon Wium Lie said: “HTML, CSS and JavaScript have never had patent, Internet should always be open.

Although the video function of HTML5 standard may be a significant threat to Adobe Flash, Google and Adobe are already in the alliance and Google has decided to integrate Flash to its Chrome browser. Because of this, Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch said on Wednesday that Flash player will be integrated with VP8 function and the new product is set to be released within one year.

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Microsoft Silverlight Aims to Compete with Adobe Flash

Technologically, Microsoft Silverlight is almost on the same level with Adobe Flash, but speaking market, Microsoft Silverlight is still crawling and has a long way to go.

In the past two years, Microsoft has dedicated too much technical resources to enhance Silverlight’s performance. Now, Microsoft Silverlight can compete with Adobe Flash technologically, but still has to speed its pace to follow Adobe Flash when talking about market.

It’s true Microsoft Silverlight already has some big customers like football league, but the giant video websites like Youtube and Hulu are still using Adobe Flash. The worse, some customers, British Television ITV, for example, even abandoned Microsoft Silverlight recently and then turn to Adobe Flash immediately. The worst, even Microsoft’s own network assets such as MSN and Bing seldom use Silverlight or use it conservatively. However, this situation is changing.

Early this week, Microsoft proposed Silverlight will be used in the latest vision search function of Bing, to present searching results in a very unique visual way. The source also said later this year, MSN is expected to be redesigned using maximum Silerlight technology.

According to estimation, Adobe Flash is installed in 90% of Internet PCs, while Microsoft Silverlight only counts 1/3. For Microsoft, the existence of Adobe is just like the existence of Microsoft for other operating system companies and office software companies. Silverlight is not only in relation with how to deliver online videos in PCs but also in relation with the future network planning of Microsoft Office software, etc. What for sure is the web designers need better software to make their interfaces rich and pretty, no matter that is Microsoft Silverlight or Adobe Flash.

Both Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight are required to be installed before watching videos online. And the current situation is most video websites use Adobe Flash due to its popularity and accordingly, most users choose Adobe Flash. This cause-and-effect relation is the key for Microsoft to increase the share of Silverlight.

Adrian Ludwig, the Group Manager of Adobe Flash said: “A few years ago, Adobe was very very nervous when gigantic Microsoft entering this field with Silverlight.”

But recently, Adobe Flash has relaxed vigilance by saying : “I begin to doubt whether Microsoft Silverlight will be as popular as Adobe Flash and whether it will satisfy the demand of the market as Adobe Flash does.”

Executives of Microsoft immediately respond: “The Silverlight customers are rising, especially after the release of the 3rd version. This version supports auto-negotiable adjust the video resolution and uninterrupted video playback according to network status.”