Microsoft IE 9 to use H.264 video codec

Microsoft's Internet Explorer will only support HTML5 video using the H.264 codec, the firm announced in on a bog.

Dean Hachamovitch, general manager of Internet Explorer said HTML5 video is the future of the web, before announcing that Exploder 9 will onlly support the H.264 video codec.

"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.

Microsoft reckons H.264 is an industry standard backed by hardware support. Hachamovitch adds that the format is used by video cameras and Youtube making it highly suitable for consumers.

While he was at it, Hachamovitch couldn't resist having a jab at Adobe's Flash, claiming the software, "does have some issues, particularly around reliability, security, and performance."

The comments echo those of Apple-in-chief Steve Jobs who has lanched an one-man crusade against the format. Jobs also bashed the open-source Ogg Theora codec from Xiph.og Ogg, and Microsoft is backing him up by also avoiding that codec.

Echoing Jobs, Hachamovitch reckons "other codecs," could have patent problems.

He said: "Developers can rely on the H.264 codec and hardware acceleration support of the underlying operating system, like Windows 7, without paying any additional royalty."

The codec contains patented video compression and playback routines from Microsoft that the MPEG LA licenses to other companies. Microsoft happens to be a member of the MPEG LA as - spookily enough - is Apple.