Microsoft makes Chrome play H.264 video
By Nicole Kobie
Posted on 2 Feb 2011 at 15:16
Users of the Chrome browser will be able to play H.264 video - thanks to Microsoft.
Google ditched HTML5 support for H.264 video last month, citing the codec's licensing requirements. Instead, Google said the HTML video tag should favour the freely available WebM.
Today, Microsoft revealed the Windows Media Player HTML5 Extension for Chrome, which will let users of the Google browser play H.264 video.
"At Microsoft we respect that Windows customers want the best experience of the web including the ability to enjoy the widest range of content available on the internet in H.264 format," said Claudio Caldato, interoperability program manager, in a Microsoft blog post.
He noted that Internet Explorer 9 will support H.264 as well as Google-sponsored WebM video - as long as users have installed the codec - and that Microsoft had already created a Firefox extension. "We also recently provided an add-on for Windows 7 customers who choose Firefox to play H.264 video so as to enable interoperability across IE, Firefox and Chrome using HTML5 video on Windows."
The move hasn't convinced everyone. One comment on the post read: "H.264 isn't an open standard and isn't supported by Firefox or Opera, so in what way is this in support of interoperability? Commercial interests absolutely, but interoperability certainly not."
Is your business a social business? For helpful info and tips visit our hub.
Sad news for the poster - the dictionary definition of "interoperability" does not mention open standards.
By AdrianB on 2 Feb 2011
Many modern video cameras in the consumer sphere record direct to h.264, so, for most consumers, putting their own work on the web requires the people they show it to to have h.264.
Most people are not Linux users (last I read, Linux had a 1% market share). I think a lot of what Microsoft does is risible and derisory, but this at least comes into the "Do not Evil" category that Google abandoned recently.
By SwissMac on 2 Feb 2011
I agree, for once with SwissMac.
As I said in the Google article comments, most cameras use h.264. Until we get cameras that use WebM natively, internet users will need h.264 support or will have to put up with inferior quality video, as the source material is converted from one lossy format to another.
Either we need consumer video cameras that use a non-lossy format, or that can record in WebM. Until then, I want h.264 support.
We need industry standards, which h.264 is, to allow interoperability, if those standards are also open, so much the better.
By big_D on 3 Feb 2011
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- How to turn off Google Location Tracking
- 20 years of PC Pro: our greatest review mistakes
- 20 years of PC Pro: our first A-List
- Wikipedia's "right to be forgotten" protest hits the wrong note
- 3D printing hits the high street for plastic selfies
- 20 years of PC Pro: What amazed us in our first issue
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office