Google has announced a new format for the HTML5 video war, called WebM and using the VP8 codec.
The new video format is royalty free and designed specifically for use on the web. The WebM project is sponsored by Google, Mozilla, Opera, AMD, Nvidia and Oracle amongst others and is aiming to become the standard way we view video on the web in years to come.
All major browser have announced support for the format, except for Apple.
“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” commented Internet Explorer General Manager Dean Hachamovitch.
“Video will finally become a first-class citizen of the Web. This is a big deal, and the day will be remembered in the history of the Web” wrote Håkon Wium Lie, CTO, Opera Software. Opera also have preview builds of the browser available which support the WebM video format.
Mozilla was also quick to follow, with preview builds of Firefox that also include support for WebM. Chrome builds should follow in the coming week.
Apple has been very quiet on the matter, not stating whether it will support the format in it’s Safari browser, and whether this format could make an appearance on iPhones, iPads and iPod touches.
This is a great day for open web standards.