Feeds

Microsoft reinfects Chrome with closed video codec

Handbags reloaded

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.