Windows Media Codec 9 up for standard

Posted by bink on September 9 2003, 5:36 PM. Posted in Windows Media.

Microsoft said on Monday that it will open the specifications for its video compression technology, which would allow other companies to make products based on its technology.

The world's largest software maker, which launched its latest video and audio standard, Windows Media 9 series, in January, said it submitted the standard to the society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers on Monday for review.

Acceptance by the international standards body would allow Microsoft's Windows Media 9 to be more easily adopted by other companies since the specifications would be open for all to see.

"We really wanted to think of a way for companies to use Windows Media 9 without ever having to contact Microsoft," said Jonathan Usher, Director of Microsoft's Windows digital media division.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft competes with RealNetworks Inc. (RNWK) and Apple Computer Inc.'s (AAPL) QuickTime format in the market for video compression and streaming software.

With open standards, other software companies could create applications that use Microsoft's video-encoding technology, although they would have to pay a license fee, which Usher said would be "low-cost and straightforward."

Hardware makers could create digital video cameras that use the technology, for example, he said.

The SMPTE will consider the standard when they meet next week, kicking off a process that could last 6-12 months, Usher said.

"I am optimistic (the standard will be accepted), I think this is technology that has been proven in the industry," Usher said