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In HTML5 war, Microsoft guy slams "President of the United States of Google"

Microsoft says Google is inventing new language in Web video standards dispute

By , Network World
January 12, 2011 10:37 AM ET

Network World - Microsoft and Google are fighting yet another public relations battle, this time over the HTML5 video standards to be used in the next generation of Web browsers.

While Google is usually the company known for humorous pranks, it's a Microsoft employee who demonstrated his sharp wit in a blog post that compares Google's backing of the WebM video format to the invention of a brand new language.

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Tim Sneath, the head of "Windows and web evangelism for Microsoft," according to his Twitter profile, wrote a blog post on MSDN.com titled "An Open Letter from the President of the United States of Google." 

The post spoofs Google's decision to remove H.264 support from Chrome in favor of the WebM video codec, which was announced by Chromium project manager Mike Jazayeri on Tuesday. 

Sneath essentially rewrites the Google blog post, replacing "WebM" with "The Esperanto language," which he says "was invented last century as a politically neutral language that would foster peace and international understanding." Esperanto, by the way, is an "international auxiliary language" designed to aid communication between people who speak different native languages. It's also a pretty cool song by The Eagles. (No wait, that's Desperado).

Sneath doesn't mention WebM in his blog post, but does provide a hyperlink to the WebM page. The message is fairly clear: Sneath believes Google is forcing a new standard on the Web world instead of simply letting people speak their chosen language. "English," in Sneath's post, links to the Wikipedia page on H.264.

Sneath's entire blog post reads as follows:

"The world's ability to communicate with one another is a key factor in its rapid evolution and economic growth. The Esperanto language was invented last century as a politically neutral language that would foster peace and international understanding. Since the launch, we've seen first-hand the benefits of a constructed language:

• A pure form of communication that is unsullied by cultural context;

• Broad adoption by as many as 10,000 speakers

• Independent (yet mostly compatible) dialects that not only bring additional choice for speakers [but] also foster healthy competition and innovation

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.

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