Future versions of Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system and Microsoft Edge will support the open formats Ogg, Vorbis and Theora.
The news comes from the Microsoft Edge development platform status page which lists all three formats as in development in Edge and the desktop, and other platforms Microsoft supports with Windows 10.
Microsoft Edge is the default browser on Windows 10, even though the operating system ships with Internet Explorer 11 mainly for backwards compatibility reasons as well.
Microsoft is a bit more open when it comes to its development priorities for Edge. This is understandable, considering that web developers may use or even require the information to support Microsoft Edge.
- OGG Container format is supported by Chrome, Firefox and browsers based on the code. It is not supported by IE11 or Safari. Microsoft will add support in Microsoft Edge, on the desktop, Mixed Reality, mobile and Xbox.
- Theora Video Codec is supported already by Firefox and Chrome, and browsers that share code with these two web browsers. The codec is not supported by Safari or Internet Explorer 11. Microsoft plans to add support in Microsoft Edge, on the Windows 10 desktop, Mixed Reality, mobile and Xbox.
- Vorbis Audio Codec is supported by Chrome, Firefox and other browsers based on the code of these browsers such as Opera or Vivaldi. It is not supported by Internet Explorer 11 and Safari. Microsoft's development plan highlights that it will be included in Microsoft Edge, on the desktop, for Mixed Reality, mobile, and Xbox.
The codecs and container format are not the first open formats that Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system supports. Windows 10 supports the popular mkv container format for instance, as well as FLAC and Opus for instance.
The move may have been motivated partially by Microsoft's discontinuation of its Groove Music Pass service and open endorsement of Spotify. Spotify is one of the world's largest music streaming services, and its desktop client uses Vorbis as the default audio codec.
Direct integration in Windows 10 would mean that Spotify would not have to distribute its desktop application with its own audio codecs to enable support for Vorbis on Windows machines. While that is still necessary on older versions of Windows Spotify supports, as Microsoft will integrate Vorbis only on Windows 10, it could be beneficial in the long run on Windows 10 machines.
Microsoft will add support for the three open formats to its Windows 10 platform and Microsoft Edge. That's a good thing, considering that users don't have to install codecs manually anymore to add support, or rely on media players to support these with binary codecs instead.
Now You: Which audio or video codecs, or container formats, do you use predominantly? (via CTRL Blog)