Google announced today that they are dropping support for H.264 video codec in Chromium, the open source project in which Chrome is based.
Google claims that the move is to enforce support of open technologies, like the WebM and OGG Theora formats. This is the second time in tris week where a move supposedly to support open standards leaves users without support for video. The other was the removal of the excellent port of VLC app for iPad of the App Store, citing that Apple’s DRM were incompatible with VLC’s GPL license (the port was not done by Videolan itself, but by Applidium).
Now Google drops support for the most ubicuous codec in web, whether it is desktop, mobile or game platforms. For an open web? Or to enforce their WebM codec? I recently had to research for an university what was the best and most efficient way to distribute video content, and after testing both encoders and players and their support across browsers, the best codec to encode and play videos was H.264. Removing support in Chrome seriously harms the 10% of users that use Chrome as their primarily browser.
On the other hand, will Google drop support for Flash? It’s another closed source technology, Google, you know it, right?