Google to Drop H.264 Support from Chrome, Switch to WebMCategory: Internet
Posted: January 11, 2011 03:23PM
Google has been pushing its WebM video standard for a while now, but this bit of news is certainly surprising. Google intends to drop H.264 codec support from its Chrome browser in favor of switching to WebM. Google will remove the support in the HTML5 tag and is justifying it in the name of open standards. This means that any video that is in the H.264 format will not play in Chrome unless you get the proper plug-in, which just adds one more step for users to view one of the most widely used video formats. What's more is that MPEG-LA announced a few months ago that H.264 is royalty-free so long as it is freely distributed, something that Google doesn't seem to care about as it is switching over to WebM. So yes, Chrome users will need to grab the H.264 plug-in just to play that video format in the browser. What the move to WebM ultimately means for Google and Chrome users remains to be seen.