Web Media Extensions is a new application for Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system that adds support for OGG, Vorbis and Theora.
The Windows 10 operating system supports more media formats than previous versions of Windows out of the box, mkv is to be named here specifically for instance, but there are plenty of formats that Windows does not support out of the box.
Windows 10 users who want support for additional formats need to install codecs to add support system-wide, or use programs that support these formats out of the box.
Microsoft introduced a new way of adding support for new formats and features to Windows; Windows 10 users can install Windows Store applications to do so. The company pulled native DVD playback capabilities from Windows 10 for instance, and published an application to the Store that added the capabilities back. That app costs $14.99 but Microsoft gave it away for free for a limited time; thankfully, there are good alternatives out there that are free.
The Web Media Extensions application is free. It adds system-wide support for the OGG Container, Vorbis Decoder and Theora Decoder on the Windows 10 system the app is installed on. System-wide means that any program or app that runs on Windows 10 may use the added functionality. This includes Microsoft Edge which may now play media content that uses the formats.
The application is compatible with Windows 10 on Xbox One, PC, HoloLens and mobile devices according to the product description. The colleagues over at the German tech site Deskmodder note however that the app cannot be installed right now on Windows Mobile due to the version 16299.0 version requirement. I don't really know how many are running devices with Windows 10 mobile though, probably not too many considering Microsoft not really caring about the mobile platform that much anymore.
The Web Media Extensions application is the only option of adding support for the three formats on systems running Windows 10 S. Windows 10 customers who run other versions of Windows 10 may install codecs manually instead, or simply run programs like VLC Media Player, AIMP or SMPlayer which support these out of the box.
Microsoft adding support for the three open formats is a good thing, even though direct integration in the operating system would have been better.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.