> Surely Apple, Google and MS must be pleased by this. All they have to do is gain a threshold of market share with a proprietary technology and the biggest supported of the open web will capitulate and support it.
Not a threshold, but a dominating position. The articles spell out the situation: WebM is in a hopeless position compared to H.264. It had some promise, but none of the planned moves by Google or Adobe that were meant to promote it actually happened.
But yes, even that is depressing: If Apple, Google and MS take a proprietary technology and promote it to a dominant position, Mozilla and Opera will be forced to support it. That is sad but true, if you ignore a dominant technology, you will become irrelevant, even if it is nonstandard, proprietary or patented. Becoming irrelevant isn't an option for Mozilla and Opera, because they would then lose any ability to promote open standards altogether.
The only defense against this is to prevent nonstandard, proprietary or patented technologies from becoming dominant on the web. We need to keep WebRTC open, oppose NaCl, research new next-gen video and audio codecs, fight Apple's patents on multitouch events, strengthen OIN, etc etc. This is a constant struggle.