A new video technology quietly announced late last week could mark a landmark change in how apps are deployed on PCs, tablets and smartphones for years to come - and also have big ramifications on how companies like Apple do business.

You wouldn't think that the technology launched by the Mozilla Foundation and graphic-rendering vendor Otoy on Friday would be all that big a deal. After all, the software, which is known as a codec, was originally designed to allow for the playback of videos on HTML5 pages within a browser without plug-ins.

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