Microsoftowned Skype now supports Googles VP8 IE still doesnt

first_imgThe arrival of Google’s web video tandem of the WebM container and VP8 codec was greeted with cheers from the throngs of H.264 detractors. While the teams at Opera and Mozilla quickly got behind Google, others weren’t so enthused about offering their support. Apple, for example, didn’t seemed interested in either WebM or VP8.Microsoft, on the other hand, said that it would support the WebM container in Internet Explorer and that VP8 playback will be possible as long as users have already installed the codec. According to IE head honcho Dean Hachamovich, Microsoft’s move came down to an issue of intellectual property rights. H.264 has an established base, and VP8 is an upstart — so Microsoft wanted to tread lightly.For one of the company’s other products, however, that’s clearly not an issue.Starting in version 5.5, Skype will utilize VP8 if all participants in a video chat session have a compatible version installed. Skype was, of course, one of the original supporters of the WebM project when it was announced in May of 2010, so it’s not a shock to see the app add Google’s open media format.It’s interesting, though, that Microsoft–who stated that IE would only play VP8-encoded videos if a compatible codec was installed–now owns Skype, which it probably wants installed on as many Windows computers as possible. Since version 5.5+ will come bearing the VP8 codec, that means millions and millions of Windows users will soon have it installed.At this point, it seems a little silly for Microsoft to not just go all in with VP8 and Internet Explorer…but there are all those potentially ugly patent issues to consider. With the codec delivered in Skype, Microsoft doesn’t have to get its hands dirty in a first-party way.last_img

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