The announcement last week at Google IO of the creation of the WebM project and the release of the VP8 codec was a positive and welcome development, finally offering an alternative to the royalty-liable H.264 and to Theora. WebM arises from Google’s purchase of ON2 last year and had been widely anticipated. Google did their homework, securing endorsements from competing browser vendors Opera and Mozilla and even from Adobe (possibly in exchange for Google’s endorsement of Flash on their TV platform) and, weakly, from Microsoft. The parade is now in full swing, and we can expect many more announcements of support like the one from the Miro Project. Only Apple was painfully absent, pushing the Google-Apple tension further into the spotlight.
There was still more homework to do, though. Once all the hoopla had died down, it became clear there are some serious questions that need considering. Read about them on my ComputerWorldUK blog.