We are happy to be the first to report that Microsoft now appears to be supporting HTML5 video emails in their Hotmail web client (provided what we’re seeing isn’t part of some beta test). The Hotmail web mail client displays HTML5 video in Chrome, Firefox, and IE9. IE8, which does not support HTML5, still can only show an animated GIF video.

This is big news as Hotmail the largest in terms of market penetration for web based email clients and is the first to offer support for HTML5 video email, beating out gmail, yahoo mail, and others. Such a move by Hotmail should be a boon to companies like Liveclicker which offer a video in email product as presently HTML5 video in emails is only supported on iOS devices and a handful of HTML5 enabled clients, while falling back to optimized animated .GIF video works elsewhere.

Video email has long been the red-headed stepchild of the online video industry. Hotmail’s move should prove a significant move forward for the industry. More testing and research to be forthcoming on this topic…

Hotmail HTML5 Video In Action:

The following is an screenshot showing an example HTML5 video email in Hotmail running in the latest version of Firefox: