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by Peter Galli on December 22, 2010 03:48pm
In another significant Interoperability milestone Jean Paoli, the General Manager for Interoperability Solutions here at Microsoft, this week announced the launch of the HTML5 Labs Web site, a place where we prototype early and not yet fully stable drafts of specifications developed by the W3C and other standard organizations.
These prototypes will help Microsoft have informed discussions with developer communities, and give implementation experience with the draft specifications that will generate feedback to improve the eventual standards, Jean says, noting that the move also lets us give the community some visibility on those specifications we consider interesting from a scenario point of view, but which are still not at the stage where we can consider them ready for official product support.
As Jean explains in his blog, Microsoft's approach with Internet Explorer, outlined in a blog post by Dean Hachamovitch, the Corporate Vice President for Internet Explorer, is to implement standards as they become site-ready for broader adoption.
This new HTML5 Labs Web site is the place where Microsoft's Interoperability Labs will publish prototype implementations of certain unstable and in-progress W3C, IETF, ECMA and other standards specifications still undergoing a lot of change. The first two prototypes delivered today are Web Sockets and IndexedDB.
WebSockets is a technology designed to simplify much of the complexity around bi-directional, full-duplex communications channels, over a single Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) socket. It can be implemented in web browsers, web servers as well as used by any client or server application.
IndexedDB is a developing W3C Web standard for the storage of large amounts of structured data in the browser, as well as for high performance searches on this data using indexes. IndexedDB can be used for browser implemented functions like bookmarks, as well as for web applications like email.
We chose these two specifications primarily because they are potentially very useful but currently unstable. These are the two specifications we currently believe the community stands to benefit the most from, but both are in flux.
In addition to Jean's blog and Dean's blog, you can read more about the WebSockets prototype on Tomasz Janczuk's blog and about the IndexedDB prototype on Pablo Castro's blog.
by Claudio Caldato on December 15, 2010 08:00am
As you know, Microsoft is committed to interoperability, and the IE team has previously blogged about and provided developer previews and samples showing "Same Markup" - the same HTML, CSS, and script working across browsers - in action.
Today, as part of the interoperability bridges work we do on this team, we're making available a new Firefox add-on that enables Firefox users on Windows to play H.264-encoded video on HTML5 by using the built-in capabilities found in Windows 7.
Microsoft has already been offering for several years now the extremely popular Windows Media Player plug-in for Firefox, which is downloaded by millions of people a month who want to watch Windows Media content.
This new plug-in, known as the HTML5 Extension for Windows Media Player Firefox Plug-in, is available for download here at no cost. It extends the functionality of the earlier plug-in for Firefox, and enables web pages that that offer video in the H.264 format using standard W3C HTML5 to work in Firefox on Windows. Because H.264 video on the web is so prevalent, this interoperability bridge is important for Firefox users who are Windows customers.
H.264 is a widely-used industry standard, with broad and strong hardware support. This standardization allows users to easily take what they've recorded 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, such as on a PC with Windows 7.
H.264 is also a very well established and widely supported video compression format, developed for use in high definition systems such as HDTV, Blu-ray and HD DVD as well as low resolution portable devices. It also offers better quality at lower file sizes than both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 ASP (DivX or XviD).
The HTML5 Extension for Windows Media Player Firefox Plug-in continues to offer our customers value and choice, since those who have Windows 7 and are using Firefox will now be able to watch H.264 content through the plug-in.
Microsoft is already deeply engaged in the HTML5 process with the W3C as we believe that HTML5 will be important in advancing rich, interactive web applications and site design.
Principal Program Manager, Interoperability Strategy Team