Microsoft Joins SVG Working Group

In the hell-hath-frozen-over department, Microsoft has joined the W3C’s SVG Working Group.

As a little history, at one time there were two vector graphics formats competing for W3C standardization - PGML, which was supported by Adobe and Sun, and VML, which was supported by Microsoft. SVG emerged as the W3C-backed standard, which combined elements of both PGML and VML. This wasn’t satisfactory to Microsoft, and today the only browser that doesn’t support SVG to some degree is Internet Explorer.

Good on you Microsoft.

Hopefully Microsoft will build SVG support into IE9, along with more HTML5 support and support for CSS3. With a vector format supported across all browsers, it will open up a whole new world of possibilities for web developers. Things you could only realistically do with plugin based development, ala Flash and Silverlight, will become much easier to do with standard markup and Javascript (and take away another of the dwindling list of reasons to do plugin based development).