Google garners support for VP8 video codec

Google is gatherring support for its VP8 video codec, which it acquired from On2 Technologies last August.

The the king of the Interweb announced it will open source the VP8 codec, releasing it with a royalty-free licence as part of a WebM project.

At its annual I/O event in San Francisco, Google also said it will add the Vorbis open source audio codec into the mix and support both in its Chrome browser and also on YouTube.

Firms are queueing up to pledge support for the codec including chip makers the likes of ARM, Nvidia, MIPS, and Texas Instruments. Browser builders Mozilla and Opera have also said they will support the codecs.

"We've seen what happens when the terms of a platform can change at the whims of one organisation, and the Web needs to be above that," said Mike Shaver, VP of engineering at Mozilla, in a jab apparently aimed at Apple chief Jobs' blow at Flash.

And now even Microsoft, which has been banging the drum for its own H.264 video codec, has come out and pledged support for VP8. In a blog posting last night, Microsoft's IE general manager Dean Hachamovitch said: "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."

He added: "As we said at MIX recently, when it comes to HTML5, we’re all in. This level of commitment applies to the video codecs that IE9 will support as well. We are strongly committed to making sure that in IE9 you can safely view all types of content in all widely-used formats."