Microsoft Employee's Blog Post Aims Sarcasm Missiles at Google's Open Video Moves

by Ostatic Staff - Jan. 13, 2011

Yesterday, we covered how Google's decision to truly embrace open video standards is coming to a head, and made the point that open source browsers--with Google's Chrome and Mozilla's Firefox leading the way--have increasing clout in setting web and video standards. Specifically, on The Chromium Blog this week, Google officials wrote that they are putting more muscle behind the VP8 open source video codec, and that future versions of Chrome will support the WebM Project and Ogg Theora codecs.

The upshot: Google is moving steadily away from supporting H.264 video, and that may eventually have a big impact on web publishers and device manufacturers. Now, Google's decision is drawing some very strong reactions, including an amusing one from Microsoft.

A blog post from Microsoft "client platform guy" Tim Sneath titled "An Open Letter from the President of the United States of Google"  characterizes Google's decision to embrace the WebM video standard and eschew H.264 as tantamount to an attempt to forcing an alien language on everyone. Dripping with sarcasm as he does his best to imitate a totalitarian Google leader, Sneath writes:

"We expect even more communication between people in the coming year and are therefore focusing our investments in languages that are created based on constructed language principles. To that end, we are changing the spoken and written language of this nation to make it consistent with the form of speech already supported by the Language Creation Society. Specifically, we are supporting the Esperanto and Klingon languages, and will consider adding support for other high-quality constructed languages in the future. Though English plays an important role in speech today, as our goal is to enable open innovation, its further use as a form of communication in this country will be prohibited and our resources directed towards languages that are untainted by real-world usage."

Haha. Sneath's post is really very well-written and worth checking out. Notably, he characterizes Google's moves regarding video standards as similar to embracing Esperanto--so the idea that Google is pursuing open standards isn't lost on him. But he pulls no sarcasm punches in questioning whether open web video standards are preferable to the most commonly used ones now, especially H.264. He does a nice job of disguising his actual topics, such as H.264 and WebM, by burying them in links in actually talking about them directy.

Check the post out here.