Google Chrome Drops H.264 Support, Even Though It Still Loves Flash

Oh wow. Google's dropping support for h.264 video in Chrome, because, they say, they're only going to support "open codec technologies":

To that end, we are changing Chrome's HTML5 support to make it consistent with the codecs already supported by the open Chromium project. Specifically, we are supporting the WebM (VP8) and Theora video codecs, and will consider adding support for other high-quality open codecs in the future. Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies.

Instead, Google's going to push its own WebM video, based on the VP8 standard and Theora. The problem is that there's not a ton of support for WebM yet, in particular when it comes to hardware decoders and when it comes to mobile. H.264 also already has a ton of momentum, largely thanks to the mobile space.

In other words, the video standards battle is back on. And expect to still see lots of Adobe Flash outside of Google's YouTube to play video if you're using Chrome. Speaking of! How come Adobe Flash - a very closed-source technology - will still be baked into Chrome? [Google]

Trending Stories Right Now