Today Microsoft announced that support for VP9 and the WebM container is in development for the Microsoft Edge browser that ships with Windows 10. Over the past couple of years the WebM container has become something of a de facto successor to animated GIFs as it allows for clips that run for several minutes to be put into a relatively good quality file with a small size, and doesn't suffer from the 256 color limit of standard animated GIFs. VP9 is also the default encoding used for videos on YouTube, which isn't surprising given that the VP8 and VP9 standards are developed by Google.

With the fate of HEVC uncertain due to potential issues with the costs required to license patents related to it (e.g. the creation of the rival HEVC Advance consortium), the importance of royalty free video coding formats like VP9 may grow substantially in the near future. And while current hardware support for VP9 is virtually non-existant in the PC space, that's slowly changing as the newest GPUs at least implement partial/hybrid support for the codec.

According to Microsoft, support for VP9 and the WebM container will be coming to Microsoft Insider builds of Windows 10 in the near future, with it rolling out to everyone else sometime later.

Source: Microsoft

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  • Nintendo Maniac 64 - Tuesday, September 8, 2015 - link

    I do believe that that AMD's belief that prioritizing hardware decoding for HEVC rather than VP9 in Carrizo was a mistake...

    Of course, this actually gives the benefit of being able to decode both HEVC and VP9 seeing how Windows 10 doesn't support software decoding of HEVC (it only supports hardware-accelerated decoding).
  • Morawka - Wednesday, September 9, 2015 - link

    Good luck to google.. HEVC already has wide adoption and 35 of the Fortune 100 tech companies already have licensing agreements. Nvidia already has HEVC encoder/decoder's built into maxwell GPU's.

    HEVC has definately got a leg up on vp9.. The only hope google has is the fact that it's royalty free. VP9 requires much more encoding horsepower, and it's compression is close to HEVC, but HEVC still edges it out on a wide range of content dimensions.
  • extide - Wednesday, September 9, 2015 - link

    Yeah the problem is Google cannot use some of the advanced methods HEVC does because they are patented. It would be better for everyone if HEVC and it's patents didn't exist at all, or both teams actually worked together, but sadly we all know that will never happen :(

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