Microsoft today announced that its newly released Edge browser will be getting support for VP9, an open-source video codec that Google initially developed, in upcoming Windows Insider preview builds of Windows 10.
Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox already support VP9 — an alternative to the H.265 codec that can quickly deliver high-definition video content — and those are the very browsers that Edge was designed to compete with.
“Our initial VP9 implementation in Microsoft Edge will support adaptive streaming using Media Source Extensions, and will be detectable using the MediaSource.isTypeSupported() API,” Microsoft’s Andy Glass, principal program manager of silicon, graphics, and media, and Jerry Smith, Microsoft Edge’s senior program manager, wrote in a blog post today. “It will be specifically targeted to meet the needs of websites that use VP9 to deliver video in combination with MP4/AAC or other audio codecs already supported by Microsoft.”
Initially, Edge users will be able to turn on VP9 support with an experimental flag, which can be accessed by going to the URL “about:flags” in Edge.
Support for many types of tooling is important for building and sustaining a user base in Edge, which is one of the biggest new features in Windows 10. Edge is the successor to the long-lived Internet Explorer browser, so it would be natural for Microsoft to gradually enhance its capabilities. Support for browser extensions and add-ons from third-party developers, for instance, should arrive soon enough.
Following on the introduction of VP9, Edge could also get support for additional standards, such as the Opus open-source audio format, Glass and Smith wrote. You can keep track of the status of support for standards in Edge here.