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Google is furthering its push to open source by dropping support for the H.264 video codec in the Chrome browser in favour of open source WebM and Theora codecs.
H.264 is a popular video compression standard used by most HD video streaming websites because it provides high quality video at low bit rates, and is widely considered an industry standard.

The move looks more like a branching away from Apple and Microsoft by abandoning the popular video compression format and has been labelled as hypocrisy by critics.

Google claims that dropping support was to favour high quality open source development but Google’s support of Adobe’s privately owned Flash contradicts this.

Apple made a similar move away from its competitors when it abandoned Flash in favour of its own HTML5 format.

Google is implementing the codec change over the upcoming months to allow web developers to adapt their sites to suit Google Chrome users.

“These changes will occur in the next couple months but we are announcing them now to give content publishers and developers using HTML < video > an opportunity to make any necessary changes to their sites,” said Google’s Mike Jazayeri on the Chromium blog.

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