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Microsoft Edge adds support for WebM video format

Microsoft Edge adds support for WebM video format

by AshwinSeptember 3, 2015

Microsoft has announced that it has added support for WebM video format in its new browser, Edge.


The format in question, was originally developed by Google.

The Mountain View company had added WebM as one of the options for its video sharing service, YouTube. If you aren’t familiar with WebM, it is a codec (used for compressing/uncompressing videos to be played in the video player). Earlier this year, Google killed support for its Adobe Flash based video player in YouTube, and replaced it with a HTML 5 based player.

This is because it is much faster and secure than Adobe Flash. This change also eliminated support for the older container called H.264, you may have come across this container in many popular video converter apps. This container was the one which was replaced by WebM. And since WebM is open source, any website or browser can use its code to add support for the new and popular format.

Another reason why WebM was a preferred choice, is that because it is royalty-free, unlike H.264. WebM is actually a fork of the popular container MKV (which is famous for the formats .mkv, .mk3d, .mka, .mks). WebM is already being used in YouTube’s HTML5 player, and also in other popular web services such as Skype, imgur, gfycat, and many more.

Considering all these, Microsoft Edge adding support for WebM is a wonderful move, and ensures its future as a modern browser. However, WebM is not yet available in the stable version of Windows 10 (Build 10240), or the current Insider Preview Build (10352).

A Microsoft Employee, has confirmed that WebM has been added to Edge, and is currently in development stage.

WebM is likely to be added in future builds of Microsoft Edge. Neowin reports that it is not clear whether Microsoft Edge will add the VP8 or VP9 codec. In comparison, YouTube uses VP9, which also happens to be supported in most modern browsers like Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Opera.

Microsoft Edge has not gained much of a userbase even a month after Windows 10 made its official debut. Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox continue to dominate the browser market.

To gain more users to adopt Microsoft Edge, the Redmond company needs to stay in the competition and support the latest web standards, like WebM. Another reason why users aren’t using Edge, may be because of lack of extension support in the browser. Microsoft Edge should however get support for browser extensions, once the Threshold 2 Windows 10 is released sometime in the next month or two.