WebM vs. H.264: Google Bets Big on Itself

“Chrome will soon turn its back on the H.264 codec in favor of
Google’s own WebM technology. It’s risky to ditch a working
standard such as H.264 for one under development, but there are
potential benefits for both Google and anyone now paying licensing
fees. Then again, there are questions about whether WebM will be
ready for prime time — and to what degree a standards feud will
encumber users.

“Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) announced Tuesday that its Chrome browser
will stop supporting the H.264 codec in a couple of months and will
support its own WebM and Ogg Theora technologies instead.

“The announcement set off a firestorm. Some contended the move
is a step backward for openness; others speculated that it might
create a roadblock for adoption of the HTML5 standard; a few
questioned whether or not the move would adversely impact adoption
of the Chrome browser.”


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