Google to Shelve H.264 Video Standard from Browser

Google is to drop support for the H.264 video standard in future versions of its Chrome browser.

The company said that Chrome will support only the WebM (VP8) and Theora video codecs in order to make the browser a more open project.

Google explained that an open source system is more likely to produce innovative results than a standard based on patented technology.

"We are changing Chrome's HTML5 video support to make it consistent with the codecs already supported by the Chromium Open Source Project," said Google in a posting on the Chromium Blog.

"H.264 plays an important role in video, but our goal is to enable open innovation, and support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies."

The VP8 codec was a product of Google's acquisition of On2 Technologies, and is the principle video driver used by Mozilla, Opera and Chrome.

The H.264 standard used by Apple, Microsoft and Adobe's Flash requires licensing payments and thus cannot be used in open source code.

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