Battle of the Web browsers: Video and audio
In theory, the browsers all do a great job of embracing the new video tag. In practice, issues of patents and perhaps even pride seem to be creating incompatibilities beneath the surface. Everyone supports a different subset of the four common standards, but no standard has become dominant yet. Safari and IE do not support Ogg Theora or WebM, for example; Chrome doesn't support MPEG-4. All of these details create news as people debate the right plan for the Web.
I'm not sure how much this matters to the average person. The Theora website, for instance, includes a list of sample videos, and I was able to play some of them with Safari or IE. Why? The video's host, Blip.tv, gracefully switched to a different format, and I sailed on unaware.
This may not be much of a problem for the average website developer either because many don't bother trying to stream video. If Microsoft is happy to plop videos on YouTube instead of hosting the bits themselves, then there may not be any reason for the rest of us to host the video either. Let's just upload it to a free video streaming site that covers the bandwidth costs. How long will Google continue to pay for everyone's video bandwidth? I can't be sure, but it also means that most people don't spend much time worrying about these standards. If these free hosts disappear, the landscape will change quickly.
Video and audio formats supported
|Internet Explorer 9.0||Yes||No||No|
Battle of the Web browsers: Plug-ins and extensions
The browsers' plug-ins and extensions continue to be important criteria for many of the serious users. People have their own favorites, and they often choose their browser for the plug-ins.
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