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Dropping Of H.264 Support From Chrome Browser: A Risky Move

by arupchou on January 18, 2011

Ever since search engine giant Google has announced that it will withdraw support of H.264 codec from its Chrome browser as well Chrome Browser Imageas Chrome OS, there has been a lot of debate about the justification of the move. It is to be noted that at present Chrome along with several other browsers support HTML5 videos which are encoded using H.264 codec.

However, with Google planning to withdraw support of H.264 codec in a bid to promote WebM codec, the move is indeed risky as there is a wide support for H.264, because of its high end features.

Risks Of Withdrawing H.264 Codec

The Mountain View, California based company has certainly taken a huge gamble by its announcement. The WebM format is relatively new and it will take at least sometimes to become popular. Two months time is a short-period for the format to match the popularity of H.264 codec. Another advantage of H.264 codec is that it can be accelerated by the latest graphics processors which is is not possible in WebM and the later is not even supported by encoders.

Patent issues might also be one of the factors regarding WebM and hence Google has to device the right strategy to promote the codec and fill the void created with the absence of H.264 codec. The announcement by Google has also come at a time when there is a rising popularity of the Chrome Browser. It is to be noted that last year the share of the browser stood at 10% and the move may tilt the scales in favor of Internet Explorer and other browsers supporting H.264 codec.

But it is too early to predict the exact outcome of the move and only time will tell how the move has paid off for Google, which aims to come up with its ambitious Chrome OS.

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