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Microsoft Slams Google Over HTML5 Video Decision

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the our-vids-are-better-than-your-vids dept.

Google 453

jbrodkin writes "Microsoft is accusing Google of some heavy-handed tactics in the battle over HTML5 video standards. In an attempt at humor, a clearly peeved Microsoft official wrote 'An Open Letter from the President of the United States of Google,' which likens Google's adoption of WebM instead of H.264 to an attempt to force a new language on the entire world. Internet Explorer 9, of course, supports the H.264 codec, while Google and Mozilla are backing WebM. The hyperlinks in Microsoft's blog post lead readers to data indicating that two-thirds of Web videos are using H.264, with about another 25% using Flash VP6. However, the data, from Encoding.com, was released before the launch of WebM last May. One pundit predicts the battle will lead to yet another 'years-long standards format war.'"

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Kettle, meet pot, pot, meet kettle (4, Insightful)

arivanov (12034) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860240)

Kettle, meet pot, pot, meet kettle - you are both black.

Re:Kettle, meet pot, pot, meet kettle (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34860250)

Kettle, meet pot, pot, meet kettle - you are both black.

racist

Re:Kettle, meet pot, pot, meet kettle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34860532)

Kettle, meet pot, pot, meet kettle - you are both black.

I've always wondered.... what is the difference between a pot and a kettle?

Re:Kettle, meet pot, pot, meet kettle (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860646)

A kettle has a spout.

Re:Kettle, meet pot, pot, meet kettle (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860720)

A kettle usually has a handle as well.

Re:Kettle, meet pot, pot, meet kettle (1)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860742)

Cook much?

A pot is generally a variant of an open cylinder, often as deep as it is wide, typically used for cooking soups, stews, and the like, with an optional lid. A kettle is typically the a dome with a wide base designed to catch a lot of heat from below relative to its volume in order to bring liquids inside (typically just water) to a boil as quickly as possible. It generally has a built-in "lid" with a small access area and a pouring spout.

Both were traditionally made from iron, hence the reference colo[u]r.

FRIST POST (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34860242)

FROSTY PISS

It's not illegal (5, Funny)

bemenaker (852000) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860266)

when Microsoft does it!!

My irony metre exploded. (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860458)

Microsoft is accusing Google of trying to lock people into their standard?

Is someone at MS taking the piss?

Re:My irony metre exploded. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860676)

No, they're speaking from experience.

competition (0)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860290)

"Competition, motherfucker, have you heard of it?"

So what is the problem? This clearly is an interesting experiment in competition, which will have more support? Google pushing WebM with Youtube and Google Video and Chrome and other browsers, or MS with H.264 and IE?

Re:competition (0, Troll)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860384)

I like the MPEG group.
  - They've done a lot of good work these last 25 years (MPEG1, MPEG2, MP3, JPEG, MPEG4, AAC, HE-AAC), and I don't see any reason to stop using their specifications. I especially love those most-recent specs which let me send video to my friend who's stuck on dialup, or listen to FM-quality radio at only 14kbit/s. As for microsoft or google, I could care less.

Re:competition (4, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860440)

Good for you! Can you please pay the Licensing fees then for everyone?

I am certian that if you give Google a few Million they will see it your way.

Re:competition (-1, Troll)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860572)

You can't afford an extra 10 cents per device or browser? I'm sorry. Here let me help you out. (Searches yellowpages for welfare office.) No on second thought: Here's a dime. That's certainly cheaper than me having to go buy a new WebM-compatible iPod for ~10,000 cents.

BESIDES the licensing fees will disappear very soon. MPEG1/2/JPEG are already public domain if I recall correctly, and MPEG4/H264 will soon be an open standard too. I'm happy to keep using MPEG's products just as I'm happy to keep buying Hondas and VWs.

I'm sticking with MPEG. I could care less about WebM or Orbis or other codecs my iGadgets can't play.

Re:competition (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860694)

MPEG4/H264 will soon be an open standard too. ,/quote> Are you a sock puppet for commodore64_love? The H.264 patents expire during 2023. That is not soon, that is in over 12 years. 12 years ago, we were all thinking RealVideo or MPEG-1 were the state of the art for web video. If we're still using H.264 online in 12 years, I shall be quite disappointed.

Re:competition (5, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860712)

BESIDES the licensing fees will disappear very soon. MPEG1/2/JPEG are already public domain if I recall correctly, and MPEG4/H264 will soon be an open standard too

MPEG1? Check.
MPEG2? *bzzzzzzzzt* 2023.
JPEG? Yep, was never patented to begin with.
H.264 soon? Well, if 2027 is soon.

And you didn't mention MP3, but that is 2012/2017 depending if you think the submarine patents are valid or not.

Re:competition (2)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860768)

If your "iGadgets" can't be updated with software to support new codecs or variations in existing codecs, then I fear you have already wasted your money on crappy technology.

Re:competition (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860486)

P.S.

I just don't see any compelling reason to switch to a new codec when everything I own already uses MPEG4's H264. It makes as little sense to me as deciding to move from MP3 to Snogg Vorbis. I'd rather just stick with the current standard.

Oh and yes Firefox, Opera, et cetera support MPEG4 video, via the Flash support.

Re:competition (1)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860386)

and Apple with safari?

Re:competition (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34860398)

IE isn't pushing any specific format. IE9 will support h.264 out of the box but will also play other formats if codecs are installed. IE9 will support WebM just fine. It's not like a browser has to pick a format and that's it; Chrome can perfectly well include support for WebM out of the box as well as h.264, as is the situation today. Or they could remove built-in h.264 and support installed codecs. The problem is that you have entities that are deciding to snub platform-provided methods for playing media in favor of political posturing in their own attempt to "fix the web". In the end we're going to end up with fragmentation and it is the end user who will lose.

Re:competition (1)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860766)

If they wanted to be bizarre, they could even support their internal codecs for things they provide, and fall back to platform codecs for everything else. The only reason for Chrome to refuse to play H.264 video is a political one.

So much for net neutrality, eh?

Re:competition (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860426)

"Competition, motherfucker, have you heard of it?"

So what is the problem? This clearly is an interesting experiment in competition, which will have more support? Google pushing WebM with Youtube and Google Video and Chrome and other browsers, or MS with H.264 and IE?

Competition in standards isn't such a great thing. If you're going to release a new standard it should be for a very good reason, because everyone will have to support all standards (unless they totally fail, in which case they're just a waste of time).

I know H.264 has some sort of proprietary ties, but they're pretty weak, and introducing something completely new (instead of, say, enhancing and throwing their weight behind Ogg/Vorbis, which in itself would be somewhat irresponsible if less so) seems really crazy.

Re:competition (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860472)

Standards are no good when there are barriers that prevent some folks from implementing them. Standards should be open if they are not then I am fine with competition in standards even when that means things don't just work.

Re:competition (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860764)

Standards are no good when there are barriers that prevent some folks from implementing them

A barrier that is self-imposed is not a barrier. Refusal by Google & Opera to pay MPEG's 10 cent/browser license fee is equivalent to me saying, "I am barred from watching SyFy Channel, because I have to pay the $60 fee to access it." - That is not a barrier; that is a self-inflicted wound because I'm a cheapass.

Re:competition (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860562)

...introducing something completely new (instead of, say, enhancing and throwing their weight behind Ogg/Vorbis, which in itself would be somewhat irresponsible if less so) seems really crazy.

I pretty much agree with the rest of your post, but it's perhaps worth pointing out that WebM actually does use Vorbis audio and a Matroska container. I hadn't previously heard of the VP8 video codec, but Google apparently placed all the patents in the public domain, open sourced their implementation, and licensed the specification under Creative Commons.

In light of all that, I'm inclined to support it over H.264, despite the fact I hadn't actually heard of it before I saw this article.

Re:competition (1)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860790)

And they're so confident that WebM is now patent-unencumberd that they're willing to stake their own money on it.

Oh, wait - no, they're not, are they? They won't contribute to any sort of a defense fund for those folks who want to use WebM in case they're sued in the future. Not so confident after all. And considering how much like flipping a switch it was for the encoder/decoder guys to add WebM support to H.264 products, the odds of it not actually violating H.264 patents are very small indeed.

Re:competition (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860564)

I know H.264 has some sort of proprietary ties, but they're pretty weak, and introducing something completely new (instead of, say, enhancing and throwing their weight behind Ogg/Vorbis, which in itself would be somewhat irresponsible if less so) seems really crazy.

My understanding is that its patents that sink H.264 on the "open" front. Specifically the lack of open licensing terms.

Of course, my understanding is that Theora and VP8 infringe on a subset of the H.264 patents anyway, although no one is entirely sure which ones and no one really wants to go looking.

Incidentally, WebM uses Vorbis for its audio, so in a way, Google is backing Vorbis. Just not Ogg, instead they've invented a new container format that I think is either Matryoshka directly or a modified version of it.

Re:competition (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860688)

"Competition in standards isn't such a great thing."

That's true. Look at the mess that was AM Stereo - there were three competing standards in the US, and the consumers were left confused. Eventually AM Stereo died out since consumers were afraid of picking the wrong standard (as happened with Betamax and HDdvd) and being left with a junk radio. ----- Meanwhile in other parts of the world AM Stereo became very successful because their Governments chose ONE standard, and consumers quickly adopted it.

Re:competition (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860454)

I think we all know the answer to that. Youtube, Firefox and Google Video VS. MSIE, the probably most hated browser?

And in other news... (1)

haydensdaddy (1719524) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860298)

Microsoft has filed a patent application for Irony...

Re:And in other news... (5, Funny)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860356)

Alanis Morissette claims prior art

Re:And in other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34860402)

Alanis Morissette claims prior art

It's like rain on your patent application.

Re:And in other news... (2)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860442)

Man, I remember Irony before it sold out. Irony used to have integrity.

Now, the only way I can appreciate Irony is ironically.

66% + 25% (5, Informative)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860302)

The hyperlinks in Microsoft's blog post lead readers to data indicating that two-thirds of Web videos are using H.264, with about another 25% using Flash VP6

yes, but once Google updates Youtube to only use WebM, I guess that'll show 91% of all online video to be in WebM format.

I wonder what Microsoft will say then?

Re:66% + 25% (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34860328)

"Microtube"

Re:66% + 25% (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860376)

They'll celebrate the fact that Youtube suicided, or won't be impacted at all.

The former will happen if they did that move without Adobe supporting it in flash. It may well still happen because all the iPhones and similar in the world suddenly couldn't play youtube content because they depended on efficient ASICs that can't be adapted to WebM and there isn't enough generic processing power to do it without such an ASIC.

The latter will happen if they figure a way around it on mobile devices, and have a flash update enable it for all browsers which will render the difference between IE and Chrome moot once again.

Re:66% + 25% (1)

bryonak (836632) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860648)

It may well still happen because all the iPhones and similar in the world suddenly couldn't play youtube content because they depended on efficient ASICs that can't be adapted to WebM and there isn't enough generic processing power to do it without such an ASIC.

What ASICs?
Video decoding is usually implemented in DSPs, so even Apple has the theoretical ability to easily play back VP8 efficiently. The IP is just now being distributed, decoders are starting to get programmed and will be used by future Android handsets...
While iPhones may be stuck on h264 if Apple really acts unreasonably, they don't pose a threat for WebM adoption, given their smaller market share (compared to future VP8-enabled devices).

Re:66% + 25% (3, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860732)

Add to that, VP8 is very similar to H.264 and other codecs. The implement in libavcodec is around 1400 lines of code, most of which is just calling existing decoder functions with different constants. Even quite specialised H.264 decoders (i.e. ones that do entire steps entirely in hardware) can probably be modified to support VP8 without too much effort. The DSPs in most ARM SoCs almost certainly can.

Re:66% + 25% (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860422)

Youtube may switch to WebM, but it still supports flash doesn't it? So Microsoft Explorer and Apple Safari users won't notice any difference at all.

Another new format.. le sigh. (4, Funny)

GrBear (63712) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860308)

Dammit, does this mean I need to buy the white album again?

Re:Another new format.. le sigh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34860614)

Dammit, does this mean I need to buy the white album again?

White album, prolly no.

Star Wars Complete Saga, prolly yes.

A Men In Black reference? (1)

definate (876684) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860692)

A Men In Black reference? Well done good Sir, well done indeed!

Next up, I'd like a Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure reference.

It's such a failed ecosystem. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34860312)

The web is such a failed ecosystem these days.

Security and privacy have never been major concerns of the browser developers (everything relating to these is a half-baked hack).

JavaScript is, by far, one of the shittiest scripting languages around. It has absolutely no technical merit; it just happens to be all over the place. It should have been replaced by Python, Ruby, Perl or even Scheme years ago.

Most browsers themselves are bloated piles of crap. Firefox is among the worst, even worse than IE in many cases. But that's what happens when, for whatever reason, one thinks it's a "good idea" to write the bulk of an application using XML (XUL) and JavaScript.

Now they can't even agree on a common set of media codecs. The various corporations and organizations argue back and forth like children, rather than acting mature and doing the best thing for the community, even if that goes against the browser developer's own media-related interests.

Hey Microsoft (1, Insightful)

surgen (1145449) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860314)

Microsoft,

Nobody but people who spend to much time with the business world or tech world really give a damn if you're in a tiff with google. Just do whats best for the consumer: support both.

Frankly, you're in no position to talk badly about a company forcing new things on the rest of the world.

Re:Hey Microsoft (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34860368)

That advice would be better directed at Google, since they are the ones dropping support for H.264.

Re:Hey Microsoft (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860446)

That advice would be better directed at Google, since they are the ones dropping support for H.264.

We'll see about that..

Re:Hey Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34860466)

Is this because of $ for licensing? What is the underlying reason?

Re:Hey Microsoft (1)

Celarent Darii (1561999) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860808)

I doubt it, as the license cap is around 6 million $ which they would have passed a long time ago for all the youtube videos they convert to .mp4.

There is really no reason but political. Software apparently isn't just supposed to work, it also has to be a political statement of some kind.

I begin to wonder if GNU is more a religion than a philosophy [http://stallman.org/saint.html]

Reducing functionality is more the hallmark of a political move than an engineering decision, especially since the alternative is not even proven to work.

Re:Hey Microsoft (1)

Thugthrasher (935401) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860448)

Google should also support both. And really, from everything I've read (I'm no expert, though), H.264 appears to be the better standard and I definitely remember reading from multiple sources that it is more efficient. So that should be the supported standard. Don't support one because it's your friends making it. Support it because it's the best.

Re:Hey Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34860520)

It costs Google a lot of money to support H.264. They shouldn't support both, they should support the free option that is, for all practical purposes, just as good as H.264.

Re:Hey Microsoft (1)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860816)

Actually it doesn't. Encoding free video is free (as in beer) in perpetuity. Nice FUD, though.

Patents (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860622)

If only it were a simple matter of technology, we could all agree with you. Unfortunately, H264 is a serious problem in the USA, because of software patents and license requirements. You cannot produce legal free software H264 editors in this country, nor can you import legally produced software from other countries. True, patent trolls will probably find a way to corrupt WebM, but at least they would have to put some effort in.

It's WAR! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34860316)

A years long standards war, or a free plugin for WebM support?

I do love pundits though, they make life seem so much more dramatic!

Well of course.. (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860318)

MS considers their position to be perfectly opposite to google. No matter what choice google makes, MS will try to find a way to spin it as wrong and completely distinct from their own stance.

Here, MS has by many measurements, less than 50% share, and Chrome, Firefox, and Safari all reject H264, meaning it actually has a shot.

That shot is small, as practically speaking, all this HTML5 video stuff is mostly moot with 100% of those video sites using flash players, which gives not a rat's ass about any of this. This move will only reinforce Adobe's position.

Also, I wonder why the hell the browser vendors did not link into Quicktime, MS's media framework, and gstreamer respectively for their OSX, Windows, 'other' video support, instead of all this BS that won't work out well.

Re:Well of course.. (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860430)

Chrome, Firefox, and Safari all reject H264

Chrome and Firefox reject H.264. Safari only supports H.264. IE9 supports whatever you have codecs installed for, which is H.264 by default but can be WebM / Theora / whatever.

Re:Well of course.. (1)

slim (1652) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860452)

Here, MS has by many measurements, less than 50% share, and Chrome, Firefox, and Safari all reject H264, meaning it actually has a shot.

Er, Safari prefers H.264. Apple are right behind H.264.

We know what will happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34860332)

One pundit predicts the battle will lead to yet another 'years-long standards format war.'

Wrong. Everyone will simply stick with Flash.

I hear that foot shotguns are now very fashionable amongst the Googlers.

Microsoft: A warning from history (0, Troll)

Raumkraut (518382) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860334)

In a recently uncovered posting from Microsoft countless years ago, a clearly peeved Microsoft official wrote: "An open letter from the President of the United States of Mozilla", which likens Mozilla's Firefox browser's adoption of actual honest-to-god agreed W3C standards, to an attempt to force a new language on the entire world.
Internet Explorer 5, of course, supports Microsoft's bastard child of what they think HTML should be, to make them most money. The hyperlinks in Microsoft's blog post lead readers to data indicating that over 90% of web users use Internet Explorer (thus implying that popularity somehow make it the superior choice), with the rest using some crap nobody's heard of.

Re:Microsoft: A warning from history (3, Informative)

pastafazou (648001) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860382)

Internet Explorer 5 debuted in 1999. Firefox didn't arrive until the end of 2004.

Re:Microsoft: A warning from history (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34860488)

Out with the old and in with the new then!

Re:Microsoft: A warning from history (1)

Thugthrasher (935401) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860456)

Difference being at that time MS was wrong because W3C standards are better than MS's bastardized HTML. This time, from everything I've read on the subject, H.264 is better.

Re:Microsoft: A warning from history (5, Insightful)

spinkham (56603) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860680)

H.264 High Profile is undoubtedly more efficient them WebM. WebM quality should have an upper bound of about the same as H.264 Main Profile.

I think in that Mozilla, Google, and Opera are right on this one. This is about openness and innovation. H.264 stifles innovation, while non-patented codecs allow greater innovation.

Today, H.264 seems to make sense, but limits the freedom of people to build software, hardware, and services based around web video.

The lesson of the internet is that libre and gratis standards combined with connectivity help foster growth and innovation like nothing else we've ever created.

I support dropping H.264, at least until all browsers support a freely available codec. Free standards should be mandatory, and costly ones optional.

Unfortunately, the only way to help move some players to free standards is to refuse to support the paid ones.

I'd rather have the option of using both, but value the innovation of having free standards everywhere over that option as a short term tactical move.. That's exactly what Google, Firefox, and Opera are doing.

MOD PARENT UP (1)

cyclomedia (882859) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860776)

This is exactly what google's move reminds me of. How many years did us web devs spend banging on about Acid2 before IE finally passed it?

I agree with Microsoft (1, Redundant)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860336)

(crawls into corner and whimpers).

But seriously: I just don't see any compelling reason to switch to a new codec when everything I own already uses MPEG4's H264. It makes as little sense to me as deciding to move from Bluray to HD-DVD. Or VHS to Betamax. Or MP3 to Snogg Vorbis.

I'd rather just stick with the current standard. Oh and yes Firefox, Opera, et cetera support MPEG4 video, via the Flash support.

Re:I agree with Microsoft (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860586)

Mainly, it has to do with the fact that H264 is blatantly patent encumbered, whereas the patent trolls would have to at least put some effort into trying to make a patent claim with WebM.

Re:I agree with Microsoft (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860636)

>>>H264 is blatantly patent encumbered,

And why should I care? What compelling reason do I, a user (or "luser" in some IT depts), have to switch to WebM that my iPod, iTV, and other gadgets can not play? What motive do I have to go=out and spend a few hundred dollars buying NEW gadgets with WebM inside them?

Nothing occurs to me. Hence I'll keep using the MPEG4/h264 that is already built-into my devices.

Re:I agree with Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34860772)

Unless you are using Chrome or Firefox on your iPod how is this proposed google change going to effect you in any way? And if its not, then whats your problem ? This is about streaming videos across the internet to your browser - nothing more. It even says it in its name - WebM.

Actually pretty funny (3, Informative)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860344)

I found MS's blog post to be pretty dang funny. If you don't get the satire, check where all those links go - apparently Theora was made by Klingons.

Sure, I disagree with Microsoft's stance, but I will concede that they made a very humorous point.

If Google want to pull a Microsoft (2)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860346)

If Google want to pull a Microsoft they just need to drop flash and H.264 in Youtube and convert everything to WebM and then convince (bribe) Netflix to do the same...

Re:If Google want to pull a Microsoft (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860650)

Netflix ain't going anywhere near WebM until WebM has DRM technology built into it. Until that happens, the studios won't let them.

Re:If Google want to pull a Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34860670)

I'd be more than happy if Netflix started using an encoding that I could decode from Linux!

If M$ is opposed then we are probably in the right (0, Troll)

godlike_panos (1975888) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860396)

If M$ is opposed then we are probably in the right way

Re:If M$ is opposed then we are probably in the ri (2)

Thugthrasher (935401) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860476)

I find it better to look at the content of a decision before I judge it right or wrong, rather than just see who agrees with the decision. Normally I disagree with MS. This time I agree with them.

FF/Chrome/Opera vs IE/Safari (3, Insightful)

Vapula (14703) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860410)

We have Firefox, Chrome and Opera which decide that it's a good idea to avoid a format which is so patent encumbered that you've to pay licences to program a player, to program an encoder, to stream a video and to create a commercial video using that format (try to guess what it'd be like if authors had to pay Microsoft a licence to use the.doc format when they write their novel).

And on the other side, Apple (Safari) which own part of the licences and Microsoft who decided to pay... But neither are streaming anything (unlike Google via Youtube) and both have plenty of money available.

I don't see the problem with Google removing H.264 support from his browser... It's not like if he was the only one who don't support that format nor like if he had a major market choice...

What could have been wrong would be if Google suddently moved Youtube to WebM-only without Flash or H264 fallback AND was the only one to support that format... But the format is open and free...

Re:FF/Chrome/Opera vs IE/Safari (0)

Celarent Darii (1561999) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860624)

Format is open and free .....

Well let me see, how many programmers to implement WebM in your browser....

How many cycles to convert current videos and data to new codec....

How many tech support calls because plug-in is buggy, not up to date or another security problem....

It turns out that this format is
        a/ expensive to implement
        b/ expensive to convert existing content
        c/ expensive to support

I don't care if it is open (which it isn't, it belongs to Google; it is NOT an open standard), it is not going to be free.

Just a bad arguments.... (5, Insightful)

snaggen (36005) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860460)

English doesn't have license fees, making it unusable for everybody that doesn't want to pay. If it had, I guess Esperanto or Klingon would suddenly seem like a better choice.

Re:Just a bad arguments.... (2)

Celarent Darii (1561999) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860682)

It still takes time and energy to learn English, as it does for any language.

Time is money.

Q.E.D. (you had to pay).

This isn't evil. (3, Insightful)

Metabolife (961249) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860468)

Google is pushing a free and open standard that they released at an initial loss!? What bastards! We can't let them get away with this travesty and have their name associated with everything good about to come from the internet!

Re:This isn't evil. (1)

Celarent Darii (1561999) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860642)

The first hit is always free.

After that you are stuck with one company who owns the specs to your codec.

MPEG is at least independent from any one company.

Re:This isn't evil. (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860802)

Well, kind of. The specs for WebM are frozen, so it doesn't really matter who controls them. They are free to use, free to implement, and there are at least two independent implementations that I know of.

Google's control over the WebM brand doesn't really mean much. Using MPEG-1 didn't mean that you were locked in to then using MPEG-2 and then MPEG-4. If the next version of WebM is rubbish then there's nothing stopping you from just using something else when you come to replace WebM 1.

Of course... (1)

apt-get moo (988257) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860470)

...this is coming from the same company which tried to force their own new hypertext markup language upon the world.

Also, we don't have a single world language in the literal sense, and much less when it comes to video formats. Complaining about a browser (with a 10-12% market share, mind you) not supporting H.264 is like complaining about people on the web who are not speaking English.

You hear that Microsoft? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34860478)

That's the worlds smallest violin playing just for you.... if you don't hear that you'll probably need to download an ogg plugin.

Funny (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860504)

Funny, I don't remember having to pay a licence fee to use English.

Re:Funny (0)

Celarent Darii (1561999) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860662)

Yes you did. Every English textbook that you learned English grammar from was the "fee". As was the twelve years of schooling.

But of course some didn't pay the fee, which is why Slashdot has many "licence violations".

Rich (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860518)

How many "standards" has Microsoft tried to force upon the industry? Far more than Google. And it's not like you don't have a choice. That's what chaps Microsoft the most, choice. You shouldn't have a choice.

ActiveX all over again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34860536)

So, what it's probably going to look like is this: on one side, you'll have Firefox, Chrome, Opera and so on, supporting free (Free) and open standards; on the other hand, you'll have Microsoft.

Unlike with previous stuff that Microsoft pushed, H.264 is actually good, no doubt about that, but if you can't even put an encoded file on your server without a cartel thinking that you owe them money for every download, then that's enough to not use it.

It's "having a choice", not "war". (1)

CityZen (464761) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860540)

This is software we're talking about. It can do more than one thing.

Standards: Simple Questions (2)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860544)

There are some simple questions that can make it easy to choose between competing standards.

1. Are they sufficiently similar quantitatively in doing the job?
2. Are they sufficiently similar qualitatively in doing the job?
3. Is anyone allowed to use them without inhibition?

It's not hard. If one of the potential standards satisfies all three of those requirements and the other does not, that is the better standard. Why? Because we strive to be a free market economy. We do that because it is a better answer -- mathematically speaking -- than being a biased-market economy. Free market means satisfying the customers needs (item 1), their wants (item 2), and their freedom to choose (item 3). Competition is one of the pillars of free market efficiency. Encumbered standards create inhibition to competition.

Economically speaking, this is Dick & Jane stuff. The only people who could fail to get it are the ignorant and charlatans.

People should listen to Microsoft (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860554)

"...which likens Google's adoption of WebM instead of H.264 to an attempt to force a new language on the entire world. Internet Explorer 9, of course, supports the H.264 codec,...

People should listen to Microsoft! What better expert is there with regards to forcing things on the entire world?

Obligatory quote (1)

Emor dNilapasi (455542) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860578)

"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

No. (2)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860588)

as a professional web developer who makes his living from web development, i say no to anything that involves internet explorer. internet explorer has accrued so much karma over the torture of web developers trying to make perfectly standard compliant code of websites fit the standards-ignoring whims of internet explorer that, its name is akin to 'plague' in the eyes of long time web developers. couple this with microsoft glorious, glaring, dazzling reputation in regard to open standards and compliance, and you can understand where i am coming from.

'years long standards/format war' ? really ? with what ? internet explorer lost a lot of share to become head to head with firefox. chrome is eroding ie even more. google has much more reach on the web than anything microsoft, because google had come up embracing the web, even to the point of setting up adsense/adwords to enable small websites and advertisers that everyone on the internet was ignoring and snubbing, including microsoft. from webmaster tools to google analytics, and many more. what microsoft has to show against all these ? internet explorer ...

there isnt going to be any format war. microsoft has nothing to wage a war with.

Re:No. (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860806)

"....it dosn't seem to work in IE ...." is like scratching nails down a blackboard ....

Right Decision for Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34860590)

So I guess Google made the right choice. :D

Forcing new languages ? (5, Insightful)

alexhs (877055) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860592)

an attempt to force a new language on the entire world.

You mean, like,

  • C# ?
  • MS Java dialect ?
  • IE6 HTML dialect ?
  • Silverlight ? ... Wait, just kidding about that one.

multi-browser (1)

Tomahawk (1343) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860608)

I predict many years of having multiple browsers installed...

wait - I have multiple browsers installed...

So, I predict many years of, effectively, no difference to end users like me.

google vs the world (1)

cosmas_c (1079035) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860634)

they do not want to kill flash or h264, they want alternatives

Re:google vs the world (1)

cosmas_c (1079035) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860726)

ok this post is a reply to this post

they just need to drop flash and H.264 in Youtube

tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1948550&cid=34860346
excuse the confusion ! )(

Of course they would... (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860672)

Of course they would, anytime someone does not follow M$ way of doing things they complain, but when we complain about them not following the rest of the pack for xml OO, they get all bent out of shape....well suck it up M$ you aint the biggest kid in the sandbox anymore....you have to learn to play with others.

Both? (1)

lifewarped (833507) | more than 3 years ago | (#34860716)

Cant we just support both and let the real-world usage sort out which is "better"?

News at 11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34860718)

Shock as holders of some H.264 patents, Microsoft and Apple, do everything in their power to get more people to pay them licensing fees. Welcome to the new world where the phrase "open" applies to everything except actual use.

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