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Google Chrome Dropping H.264: Microsoft To The Rescue

Posted by: , 13:00 AEDT, Thu February 3, 2011

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Microsoft tries to solve the problem of watching H.264 HTML5 videos on Chrome, by offering a free extension that brings H.264 back to the browser for Windows 7 users

Microsoft has come to the rescue of Google Chrome users dreading the removal of H.264 support for the popular browser, by releasing a free extension that gives back H.264 decoding support.

Microsoft's Windows 7 is the first operating system from the software giant that includes native H.264 support. Microsoft is harnessing the power of the operating system for Chrome users by releasing their "HTML5 Extension For Chrome" that allows the Google browser to use the Windows 7 framework to decode HTML5 H.264 videos.

This move shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, since Microsoft has previously done the same for Mozilla's browser, Firefox, which also skips support for H.264 due to the fact that the advanced, industry supported video codec isn't royalty free or open source.

The HTML5 wars has pitted browser makers that support the open sourced Ogg Theora/Google WebM (Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome) for HTML5 videos, against browser makers that support H.264 (Apple Safari, Microsoft IE). 

Microsoft also claim that Google plans to bring decoding support for its own WebM format to IE, via a similar type of plug-in. 

Microsoft's HTML5 Extension for Chrome can be downloaded here:

What do you make of the HTML5 browser wars and this latest development? Post your comments in the comments section below, or in this thread:


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