WebM was just unveiled and already it is making its presence felt. In my previous article, I mentioned that everyone from Google, Opera and Firefox to Adobe, Nvidia and AMD will be supporting it. Given Microsoft’s recent commitment to doing the right thing, I speculated that Internet Explorer may also follow suit. However, I never expected them to do it so fast.
Microsoft’s Dean Hachamovitch has confirmed that Internet Explorer 9 will support playback of H.264 video as well as VP8 video. The rider being that the user must already have VP8 installed on his system (Windows 7 ships with H.264 computability). Re-iterating Microsoft’s commitment to supporting web standards, Hachamovitch said:
“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.”
Internet Explorer’s backing is a big boost to WebM, since IE is still the most used desktop browser. The only major browser manufacturer that is yet to commit to WebM is Apple. With seemingly the entire industry aligning with Google on WebM, Apple will be under pressure to follow suit. Yet, Apple is known for being unpredictable and unwavering.