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Google's tooting the WebP image format horn again. Will showing off network traffic efficiency gains help win allies? It's remarkable how much leverage Google has over Web standards given its power over both content and the browser used to reach it.
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Stephen Shankland's profile photoTomáš Marek's profile photoGordon Haff's profile photogeorge oloo's profile photo
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But webm (aka v8) hasn't really gone anywhere, and h.264 may never die. So, legacy continues to play a big role.
 
+Bud Gibson It looks to me like HEVC/H.265 has as much momentum as AVC/H.264. VP8 has some limited usage but not much. I'm curious about VP9 now, which Google says will double efficiency (which HEVC/H.265 did compared to AVC/H.264). We shall see.
 
Where is webA and the other letters of the alphabet
 
+Stephen Shankland I salute you for keeping track of these acronyms. Expanding on my thought, there's really a whole production chain that needs to be impacted, not just the web distribution end (though that is important). Where you see google having the most influence is in things that almost entirely or mainly web (like markup or css, and to a lesser degree javascript). They've had a harder time with the rest.

Because image display is becoming increasingly web centric, Google may be able to impact image encoding standards more in the future than they have in the past. One major issue though continues to be that many people are producing jpg from the get-go out of their cameras. Are phone manufacturers going to start outputting WebP?

It's worse for movies.
 
I am a reporter. I have a gift for acronyms. 15 years after I last wrote about it, I still remember that PHERMEX stands for Pulsed High-Energy Radiography Machine Emitting X-Rays.

I don't see WebP output, though with gradually spreading WebM support (OS, browser, encoding & decoding hardware) it's at least easy in principle. Right now the vast majority of people would be baffled by the option, though. More education is required first. As you say, the Web is a much better stronghold from which to launch an assault nowadays. But there's still a huge swath of other parts of the industry.
 
As history of tech standards has taught us, a superior contender does not always wins (re now the famous duel Betamax vs. VHS). What's more, as the web technology standard portfolio approaches to completion, it's gradually harder to break through with even better, more efficient competing technology. I for one believe, openess it the only way to go and seems to me, Google views it the same way.
Now, when Google's ally Sammy produces cameras, WebP might spread. Will the other camera vendors join the team? At a highly competitive marketplace of mobile gadgets, absence of royalties might be significant. As +Stephen Shankland puts it, we'll see.
 
+Tomáš Marek The Betamax vs. VHS story as normally told isn't entirely accurate. While Betamax was better in some respects, it originally couldn't record for longer than 60 minutes which was a big limitation for consumer use. (VHS could do 120 minutes.) The fact that Sony tried to force its format on the entire industry didn't help matters. 
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