Mozilla plays a risky game with Theora endorsement

Will Flash or MP3 suddenly go away? If Microsoft decides to make Flash support integral to IE8, video producers are unlikely to switch to Theora. That won't just box-in users and producers, but Firefox as well.

Mozilla's decision to support the Theora codec in Firefox carries risks.

While Theora is open source, it is not the only open source codec and may not be the best.

Mozilla vice president-engineering Mike Shaver says Mozilla will contribute $100,000 to make Theora better, and director of evangelism Chris Blizzard insists this is a move toward a more open Web.

But is it? Or is Firefox just picking winners?

The reason video is not a plug-in rather than a standard part of browser architecture is because video lacks standards. The copyright wars have been going on for 10 years now, and it's just hard for me to see how this ends them.

Will Flash or MP3 suddenly go away? If Microsoft decides to make Flash support integral to IE8, video producers are unlikely to switch to Theora. That won't just box-in users and producers, but Firefox as well. And what will Google do?

Back when I played the board game Risk, in the 1960s, we had a saying "Don't tap a horde." By that we meant that you shouldn't make it easy for a player with more assets than you to attack you, that allowing a buffer zone between you and his main pile of armes represented protection.

Did Firefox just tap a horde? Or is now the right time for Firefox and open video to sweep the board? [poll id="100"]

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