Microsoft delivers H.264 plug-in for Chrome


Microsoft announced its launch of a Chrome web browser plug-in that enables support for the H.264 codec.

Google controversially promised to remove support for the H.264 codec in Chrome last month. Google announced the change stating that it was moving to support its own WebM (VP8) video codec for the HTML5 tag. “Though 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,” said Mike Jazayeri, Product Manager at Google.

Microsoft hit back at Google’s move with a tongue-in-cheek blog post from the company’s web evangelist, Tim Sneath. Google’s move split opinion across the web with some agreeing with Google and others claiming the web giant should also remove Flash support to remain totally “open”.

Microsoft’s new Chrome plug-in, release on Wednesday, allows Windows Chrome users to utilize the H.264 codec once again. Claudio Caldato of Microsoft’s interoperability team announced the Windows Media Player HTML5 Extension for Chrome in a blog posting on Wednesday:

“We believe that Windows customers should be able to play mainstream HTML5 video and, as we’ve described in previous posts, Internet Explorer 9 will support playback of H.264 video as well as VP8 video when the user has installed a VP8 codec.”
Microsoft’s plug-in follows a similar add-on for Firefox. The software giant introduced its own H.264 video playback add-on for Firefox in December to bridge the interoperability gap. Microsoft’s Chrome H.264 plug-in is available at the company’s interoperability site.

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