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Microsoft The Internet Technology

Microsoft Going Its Own Way On Audio/Video Specification 215

Posted by Soulskill
from the you're-not-the-boss-of-me dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Several groups are currently working on specifications for plugin-free, real-time audio and video communication. The World Wide Web Consortium has one called WebRTC, rudimentary support for which is found in Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. Back in August, Microsoft announced its own specification, CU-RTC-Web, because it thought WebRTC wasn't worthwhile. W3C carried out a vote to choose between the two specs, which came out strongly in favor of WebRTC. Microsoft went ahead anyway, and it has now published a prototype for the proposed specification. 'So what's Microsoft playing at, persevering with its own spec in spite of its rejection by the WebRTC group? The company's argument is twofold. First, WebRTC simply isn't complete yet, and Microsoft believes that working on its proposal can shed light on how to solve certain problems such as handling changes in network bandwidth or keeping cellular and Wi-Fi connections open in parallel to allow easy failover from one to the other. Even if Redmond's spec isn't adopted wholesale, portions of it may still be useful. Second, the company believes that WebRTC may not be as close to real standardization as its proponents might argue.'"
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Microsoft Going Its Own Way On Audio/Video Specification

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  • Old dog (Score:2, Insightful)

    by El_Muerte_TDS (592157) <elmuerte AT drunksnipers DOT com> on Saturday January 19, 2013 @08:06PM (#42636049) Homepage

    And something with learning new tricks

  • Re:Old dog (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DavidClarkeHR (2769805) <david.clarke@hrgenera l i s t . ca> on Saturday January 19, 2013 @08:18PM (#42636131)

    And something with learning new tricks

    What? Microsoft is preserving an alternative format, even though there is competition, on a hypothetical, un-used format? This is not a bad thing.

    It becomes a bad thing when one of these three things are true:
    1: You are forced to use the lower quality format through hardware/vendor lock in
    2: You are forced to use the lower quality format because of widespread adoption
    or 3: When a company acquires the "rights" to the better format, and refuses to allow commercial use.

    I don't see any of these things happening at Microsoft, with this project, at this time. Sure, it may have happened in the past, but it's hardly a microsoft thing to do - all the big kids do it.

  • by LocalH (28506) on Saturday January 19, 2013 @08:21PM (#42636145) Homepage

    No one use IE any more.

    Sure they do. They don't have the majority numbers they used to have back in the old Netscape days, but they still have market share. Any web developer worth their salt will at least use IE for testing purposes (if you're developing websites, not testing in IE for whatever reason, then you suck as a developer). I also know several people personally who use IE because it's what they're used to, and they're not power users (they have difficulty learning unfamiliar programs on their own). Even after I've spoken to them and advocated the use of Firefox (or of late, I'd advocate Chrome), they chose to continue using IE.

    I'm not saying that IE is the best browser out there (although they have made great strides in standards compliance and security since the days of IE6), but to state "no one uses IE anymore" with no facts to back it up is simply short-sighted and borderline zealous.

  • by icebike (68054) on Saturday January 19, 2013 @08:25PM (#42636177)

    Any web developer worth their salt will at least use IE for testing purposes

    If you write to the standards you don't need to test in IE any more than any other browser.
    If IE can't handle standard code, its somebody else's problem.

  • Re:Old dog (Score:5, Insightful)

    by catchblue22 (1004569) on Saturday January 19, 2013 @08:36PM (#42636257) Homepage

    I don't see any of these things happening at Microsoft, with this project, at this time. Sure, it may have happened in the past, but it's hardly a microsoft thing to do - all the big kids do it.

    It is more a matter of history. Considering what they have done in the past, I am NOT ready to trust them. They are a pernicious monopoly that is now beginning to realize that they are threatened. They are starting to act like a cornered animal, trying to pull out many of their old monopolistic tricks out of their war chest.

  • by osu-neko (2604) on Saturday January 19, 2013 @08:39PM (#42636265)

    If IE can't handle standard code, its somebody else's problem.

    Spoken like a man without clients/customers...

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Saturday January 19, 2013 @08:48PM (#42636307)

    If IE can't handle standard code, its somebody else's problem.

    It is your problem when someone using IE browses your website and the site doesn't look or work well.

    Who are they going to think is an idiot, you or Microsoft? After all, most other sites they browse work fine in IE...

  • Re:Old dog (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sponge Bath (413667) on Saturday January 19, 2013 @08:57PM (#42636355)

    They are starting to act like a cornered animal, trying to pull out many of their old monopolistic tricks out of their war chest.

    Or maybe they are developing what they believe is better technology in a time frame better suited to their needs. I guess you see what you want to see. Yes, they have a spotty past. If they neutered every project in fear of appearing anti-competetive, they would be dead in short order.

  • hedging bets (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nadaou (535365) on Saturday January 19, 2013 @09:12PM (#42636409) Homepage

    Microsoft believes that working on its proposal can shed light on how to solve certain problems such as handling changes in network bandwidth or keeping cellular and Wi-Fi connections open in parallel to allow easy failover from one to the other.

    ... and then patent the method before someone else does ...

  • Re:Old dog (Score:5, Insightful)

    by amiga3D (567632) on Saturday January 19, 2013 @09:27PM (#42636469)

    I suppose you could be right. The odds are against it though. Microsoft is like the guy who has been married 10 times and cheated on every single bride. Now they are going to the altar again promising to be true this time. Want to bet on it?

  • Re:Old dog (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DavidClarkeHR (2769805) <david.clarke@hrgenera l i s t . ca> on Saturday January 19, 2013 @09:51PM (#42636555)

    I don't see any of these things happening at Microsoft, with this project, at this time. Sure, it may have happened in the past, but it's hardly a microsoft thing to do - all the big kids do it.

    It is more a matter of history. Considering what they have done in the past, I am NOT ready to trust them. They are a pernicious monopoly that is now beginning to realize that they are threatened. They are starting to act like a cornered animal, trying to pull out many of their old monopolistic tricks out of their war chest.

    Pfft. Who you gonna trust instead? Sony? Apple?

    Pick your poison. They've all been abusive in their own special way, at once point or another.

  • The REAL reason? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ilsaloving (1534307) on Saturday January 19, 2013 @10:12PM (#42636627)

    How about the REAL reason Microsoft went their own way?

    Because they want to control the plan form so that if they successfully gain traction, they can start locking everyone else out. Just like they do with everything else.

  • Re:Old dog (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ozmanjusri (601766) <(aussie_bob) (at) (hotmail.com)> on Sunday January 20, 2013 @07:20AM (#42638247) Journal

    If both parties suppot the same codec they can use that.

    And if both parties cannot support the same codec, they cannot communicate. Hence the opportunity for vendors like Microsoft to Balkanise

    Microsoft has stated that "a successful standard cannot be tied to individual codecs, data formats or scenarios." Instead, CU-RTC-Web will support a number of "popular media formats and codecs as well as openness to future innovation."

    They want to preserve the ability to lock their customers into a proprietary "media format and codec". Same leopard. Same spots.

Premature optimization is the root of all evil. -- D.E. Knuth

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