back to article Microsoft: Thanks, Google, we'll have your media codec for Edge

Microsoft says it plans to build support for Google's open source VP9 streaming video codec into its Edge browser, and it's evaluating other open source audio and video formats for the web. The Mountain View Chocolate Factory created VP9 as a replacement for H.264 that delivers better-quality video with lower bandwidth …

  1. gerdesj


    Real standards are good. Open (*) standards are really good. On the face of it, this is a genuine step forward for us consumers.



    (*) Not the likes of OOXML int al. Just sticking "Open" on the front of a name is usually a sign of anything but.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Goody

      OOXML is open. It's still shit but it is open. Office 2016 for Windows will even let you set the strict version of the specification as the default for saving files. Not that this will do you much good as this is the least interoperable version! Still, as long as Microsoft continue to publish the schema for their extensions the world will continue to turn.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It's open and royalty free, which means even Microsoft and Apple are welcome!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yes

      It is only going to be royalty free so long as it is a niche thing hardly anyone actually uses. If its use becomes widespread, it will no longer be royalty free once some patent holders (real companies and trolls) come out of the woodwork. Google can attempt to design it to not infringe on patents they know about, but between the sheer volume of patents and the difficulty of searching them, and the lengthy delays in the filing process (at least in the US) there are many patents they don't know about.

      Personally I don't think it is remotely possible to create a patent-free video codec. Its just that no one bothers trying to collect royalties until there is enough usage to make the court battle worthwhile.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yes

        Well, worst cast MPEG1 is out of patent. Just pick your 20 year old video codec of choice!

        1. Buzzword

          Re: Yes

          And given that the first DVDs came out in 1997, MPEG2 should be out of patent within no more than two years. Or do patents not work like that?

          1. Michael Habel

            Re: Yes

            I thought it was 70 years + life of the Corporation.

      2. mathew42

        Re: Yes

        However Google probably do have some spare cash they could spend on defence lawyers and patent trolls tend to prefer companies that find it cheaper to accept settlement than fight.

  3. Frumious Bandersnatch

    "other open source formats, including OGG, Opus, and Vorbis"

    OK, Opus is relatively new, but the other two have been around for what, 10+ years?

    Any mention on whether FLAC support is likely (if it isn't there already; I'm not a Windows user so I don't follow such things)?

    1. dogged

      Re: "other open source formats, including OGG, Opus, and Vorbis"

      > Any mention on whether FLAC support is likely (if it isn't there already; I'm not a Windows user so I don't follow such things)?

      Windows 10 supports FLAC natively. It's also being phased in for W10 Mobile and XBox.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Aitor 1

    SW decoding!!!

    They plan to offer one that offer HW decoding.. so instead of using the GPU, they are using the CPU.. terrible.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: SW decoding!!!

      GPU will need specific hardware to decode VP9. Nvidia and AMD don't currently support it. In any case, what's terrible about the order that Microsoft choose to implement it? It's normal to do a software implementation first, isn't it?

      1. joeldillon

        Re: SW decoding!!!

        A GPU wouldn't need special hardware, they're designed to be general purpose. I assume they're talking about specialised hardware video codecs which is a different thing.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Makes sense - MPEG-LA are going to start charging for using MP4 at some point and that's going to be a shitstorm that even Microsoft can see coming. So even with a finger in the MPEG-LA pie, it is sensible to cater to other, less troublesome, formats.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      MPEG-LA is a group of 31 businesses, and Microsoft is part of it.

      So there will be no charging of MP4 licenses - at least, not for Microsoft.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      The MP4 ship has already sailed. The battle is already on for the codecs suitable for 4k streaming (VP >= 9 vs. HEVC). Google is already a major player in the 4k market due to YouTube even if the majority of the content is currently wank (no pun intended!)

      So support for the format will be required in any browser that expects to work well on YouTube.

      Support for the WebP image format based on the VP8 would also be very welcome.

  6. Mikel

    All together now...


    1. Tcat

      Re: All together now...

      I know its difficult to accept, and there is a new world order of thinking...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: All together now...

    ...Extend, ...Exterminate!

    Altough it looks more like Divide and Conquer, right now. In a few months we will have "New features compatible only with Microsoft's VP 9" and so on, and so forth... This is going to be DirectX ALL OVER AGAIN.


    Oh, naive downvoters! Barrage of thumbs-down in 3...2...1...

    1. Michael Habel

      Re: All together now...

      I'd be prone to agree with this idea... Had it happens some 10-odd yeas ago under Ballmer stewardship. As things are now, I doubt MicroSoft are in any position to either pull it off, or do anything with it. MicroSoft have generally said how the future of Windows is going to look like. i.e. It has no future beyond WinX, and the fact that they're current embracing all things Linux at the moment. It's clear their only intention is to keep pushing O365, and Surface Slates.

      I predict that unless they wake the hell up they'll be washed up in under 10 years time. But, then they still haven't worked out the Internet, or Mobile, and how to make these work for them. But, by the time that happens I suspect we'll calling them MicroTroll's as like the pulses of a dying star thats all that will remain of 'em is a dead husk of Patent Trolls.

  8. Michael Habel

    You mean like how MicroSoft created Skype?

    IIRC Google didn't invent sheet... It bought the VP8, and 9 Codec from On2 Technologies, back in 2010.

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