Mountain View, Calif. – Google (NASD: GOOG) announced on Wednesday that
it will discontinue support for the popular H.264 video codec from its Chrome
browser, in what it termed a move towards open standards on the Web.
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," Google product manager Mike
Jazayeri wrote in a post on the company’s blog.
The H.264 codec, used in
camcorders, Blu-ray players and other video devices, requires users to pay
licensing fees to holders of patents behind the technology, which include
Microsoft, Philips and Sony.
Google will now focus on WebM, a rival
specification to H.264 that is open source and royalty-free.