The new Firefox 4 Beta 1 includes support for HTML5 video elements playing WebM videos. This is exciting, as much of the industry is getting behind WebM. Opera is shipping WebM support in Opera 10.6, Google Chrome's "early access release channel" builds include WebM support. Microsoft said they'd support WebM in their HTML5 video implementation in their upcoming IE9, provided appropriate codecs are installed on the user's system. Adobe has announced that they'll support WebM playback in Flash, which will provide fallback playback of WebM in any older or otherwise non WebM supporting browsers. Intel says it will move towards hardware support for WebM once it becomes popular.
Google has freely licensed the VP8 video codec used in WebM, and provided a royalty free patent grant. This is great news for the future of the internet. We now have a royalty free video codec, with quality which is competitive with proprietary alternatives. This means anyone can freely use high quality internet video, without having to worry about getting sued or having to negotiate a patent license.
All this will hopefully contribute to increased adoption of WebM and HTML5 video, coupling all the power of the modern web browser's rendering pipeline with high quality video.
If you want to try out our new WebM support in Firefox, the easiest way is to download the Firefox 4 beta, and watch WebM videos on YouTube's "HTML5 Experiment" program.