Feeds

Microsoft reinfects Chrome with closed video codec

Handbags reloaded

Boost IT visibility and business value

Microsoft has reinfected Google's Chrome browser with the patent-encumbered H.264 video codec, banned by the search giant last month.

On Wednesday, the world's largest software company released a plug-in for Chrome that allows Windows 7 PCs to play video using the proprietary format that's part-owned by Microsoft and Apple – you can grab it here. The plug-in is designed to let users running Chrome on a Windows 7 machine – but not on a Windows XP box – play HTML5 video using the H.264 codec.

Microsoft said on Wednesday that it has built the Windows Media Player HTML5 Extension for Chrome because it respects the fact 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."

H.264 is the mostly widely used video-playback codec on the web, but Google said in January that it was removing support for H.264 from future versions of Chrome.

Google said its resources would now be directed towards "completely open codec technologies," as the giant's goal is to enable "open innovation" on the internet. H.264 was built by Apple, Microsoft, and others, and is licensed by MPEG LA.

Future versions of Chrome will support only the royalty-free WebM codec that was owned and open sourced by Google last year, and the Ogg Theora codec.

Chrome would join Opera and Firefox in not including H.264. Chrome will continue to include Adobe's Flash player, however, which uses the H.264 codec; Google's decision only affects HTML5 video.

Announcing its H.264 shot for Chrome, Microsoft said: "We believe that Windows customers should be able to play mainstream HTML5." H.264 will ship as the video playback of choice for the next version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser later this year.

Wednesday's announcement is the latest incident of handbags at 50 paces between Google and Microsoft. Google in January said it was planning WebM plug-ins for the H.264-luvvin' IE and Safari from Apple. This Tuesday, the two went all Joan Collins over how Microsoft's Bing is ripping off Google's search results. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?