Microsoft has confirmed that its upcoming Internet Explorer 9 browser will run only H.264 video in a move that aligns with Apple's current stance of not supporting the Adobe Flash format.
Dean Hachamovitch, general manager for Internet Explorer, said in a blog post that the future of the web lies in HTML5 as it will help the development of rich, interactive web applications and offer the best choice for video support.
"The HTML5 specification describes video support without specifying a particular video format. We think H.264 is an excellent format. In its HTML5 support, IE9 will support playback of H.264 video only," he wrote.
"H.264 is an industry standard, with broad and strong hardware support. Because of this you can easily take what you record on a typical consumer video camera, put it on the web, and have it play in a web browser on any operating system or device with H.264 support."
Hachamovitch added that, while video on the web is "predominantly Flash-based " it still remains "a challenge for typical consumers". He said that Microsoft is in discussion with Adobe over these problems.
"Flash does have some issues, particularly around reliability, security and performance. We work closely with engineers at Adobe, sharing information about the issues we know of in ongoing technical discussions," he said.
The news will be a major blow for Adobe as the company is already locked in a bitter war of words with Apple over its refusal to support Flash.
Adobe chief executive Shantanu Narayen said yesterday in a re sponse to Apple that his firm is banking on Adobe's multi-platform support as the key to victory in this conflict.
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