Google intent on derailing HTML5 H.264 video with WebM browser plugins for Safari, IE

ZaggMate“After igniting a hailstorm of controversy over its intent to drop HTML5’s H.264 support from its Chrome browser, Google has reaffirmed its intent to push its own open WebM video codec via Flash-like plugins for Internet Explorer and Safari users,” Daniel Eran Dilger reports for AppleInsider. “The reason: Google wants to ship free platforms without incurring external licensing fees.”

“However Google doesn’t sell either Android or Chrome OS; it gives them away,” Dilger reports. “Microsoft sells Windows, while Apple bundles Mac OS X and the iOS as part of its hardware sales. That leaves Google as the only significant platform vendor that won’t be selling its platforms, but will still need to be licensing commercial technologies, and in particular H.264 video playback, if the world continues to standardize on H.264 for video distribution. So in this dispute, Google isn’t standing up for open standards, it’s standing up for the right to push ads through platforms based on free operating system software, relieving it from having to deal with Microsoft and Apple and other platform vendors. The only way it can afford to do that is if video is delivered without technologies that cost money.”

Dilger reports, “Google has little stake in delivering high quality video; it serves moderate quality web videos through YouTube that could be (and have been) delivered with less than start-of-the-art codec technologies. Apple and Microsoft both deliver HD video products, sell commercial movies, and have plans to deliver the future of HD television. Google’s TV strategy primarily revolves around injecting its ads into other broadcasters’ content, a concept that so far has been an unmitigated disaster.”

Read much more in the highly-recommended full article, including how questions abound about WebM and possible, even likely, patent infringement and why, as with Android, Google doesn’t care if it does infringe on other people’s intellectual property, here.

MacDailyNews Take: And, what about 150+ million iOS device users’ Mobile Safari? Any Web developer who uses WebM and thereby excludes the extremely valuable iOS user demographic ought to be fired.

Unfortunately, it seems that in order for there to be an Apple Inc., the universe requires the existence of at least one greedy, evil Apple-copying machine.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Jax44” for the heads up.]


  1. Let them do what they want,

    1. More people are using firefox than chrome and no regular person even is aware of firefox

    2. In 60 days the only people using Webm will be chrome users on YouTube

    4. Since chrome will bot support h.264 no one will be using chrome

    5. If by some snowballs chance Webm wins out; WELCOME BACK ADOBE FLASH!!

    Google is going to get the face smashed in the mud for this one. They think they have more power than they do. The only real power they have with this situation is YouTube, and they aren’t going to break YouTube for 90% of it’s users of which a good percentage wouldn’t know how to install chrome.

    Also. CHROME IS BETA. Are we all sheeple? Wake up. I am this close to dropping chrome in te trash. Safari is still my go to browser

  2. “Google has reaffirmed its intent to push its own open WebM video codec “

    Don’t the words “its own open” sound like a contradiction in terms. It owns the codec, yet, it’s supposedly “open”.

  3. How about we just watch our videos in, oh I don’t know
    A MEDIA PLAYER APPLICATION!?! (ya know, like quicktime player) and leave html the way it was meant to be (a document (ya know something /opened/ by a program and /NOT/ /run/ by a program))
    oh no wait, that actually works, sorry google/Microsoft won’t be doing that (but maybe apple will)

  4. But I thought I remember reading that the consortium passed a resolution saying there would be no fees for H.264 licenses ad infinitum?

    This is a problem though, because Google controls YouTube, and YouTube IS Internet video. Just what we needed, another format war…

  5. @Wandering Joe, a good alternative to Gmail for hosting your own domain’s email is, and the give you 100 GB of space per email account. It costs $10 per month.
    For personal email, just stick with MobioeMe, although that also costs money.

  6. @Tt
    “ regular person even is aware of firefox…”

    Browser market share : IE 51%, Firefox 36%, Safari 9%
    Chrome 2%. Your statement doesn’t jibe with the facts.
    Everyone I know has both Safari and Firefox on their
    MacBooks. Very handy and productive.

  7. Bullshit,
    thanks god for slowly disappearing plugins,
    now Google needs to make new problems.

    What about all the TV sets with mediaplayers and internet
    connection? They usually support H264.
    HDTV is H264. Good Digicams and camcorders use H264.
    For sure, because we all know, its a real good codec.

    And until today performance and quality of Webm seems below H264.

    What everyone needs is a high performance codec.
    Best quality at low data consumption and high
    performance while encoding.

    If we have that, we can drop H264 finally.
    Cannot understand the idea of google.

    political maybe.
    Apple should open “iTube”

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