Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Google I/O Day 1: Perhaps more excitement in tomorrow's keynote

Anyone who was looking for earth-shaking news from today's keynote presentation at Google's I/O Conference didn't find it. The biggest news had already leaked weeks ago--Google's decision to open-source the VP8 video codec from On2 Technologies. Under the name "The WebM Project", Google will make VP8 available royalty-free and open-source, and will pair it with the Ogg Vorbis audio codec, which has been added to the project by Xiph.org, to create WebM. YouTube has begun to make WebM versions of some of its videos available for testing, and WebM will become a standard format supported by YouTube.

Google, Mozilla and Opera will add support for WebM to their browsers (currently in nightly developer Chromium and Firefox builds, and in a Lab build of Opera). Adobe also announced its intention to add WebM support to Flash within the next year. More than 20 other software, hardware and services companies also announced their plans to support WebM. Not surprisingly, neither Apple nor Microsoft announced support for WebM.

There were a lot of demonstrations of applications built on HTML5, and Adobe demonstrated some ways to use the current Dreamweaver CS5 and CSS to build platform-aware HTML5 content. The company also demonstrated an early prototype of software that can create interactive graphic HTML5 content. Google announced that Google Wave is now open for general use as a Google Labs project (no invitation needed). The company also announced a web app store for Chrome; support for the store will be first available in developer builds of Chrome to be released later this year. Applications available in the store will run in other HTML5-compliant browsers.

Finally, Google spent the last 40 minutes of the keynote discussing and demonstrating application development tools and platforms. The announcements including the Google App Engine for Business, which is not yet available, and significant extensions to Google App Engine itself to make it more competitive with Amazon Web Services.

It's now expected that tomorrow's keynote will focus on Android, Flash and Google's TV initiative with Intel, Sony and Logitech.

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