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Microsoft adding H.264 to Chrome as Google removes it

In the heat of the browser wars between Google and Microsoft, a flurry of comments, accusations and announcements have been made, all in attempt to trump one-another. Today's strange announcement comes from Microsoft, where they will be adding H.264 codec support to Chrome, while Google is in the process of removing it.

H.264/MPEG-4 is a standard for video compression, used in a wide variety of home video players, camcorders, and even browsers. Last year, Google was worried about the future of H.264 royalty fees, so it opted to create its own version, dubbed VP8.

Fast forward to last month, when Google announced it would be removing support for H.264 in its browser, opting for VP8 to become the standard for Chrome. Google explained that the reasoning behind the removal of H.264 was because it isn't a truly open codec like WebM or Theora Technologies. Despite H.264 staying royalty-free, Google will continue its transition to remove support for the video codec.

Jump forward to today, where Microsoft has announced it will develop a plug-in for Google Chrome, restoring H.264 support for the browser, as reported by AllThingsDigital.com. The great thing about Google Chrome is that anyone can develop plug-ins, including the competition.

Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft's next major IE release, will support both H.264 and VP8 codecs, but the user will be required to install the VP8 codec on their Windows machine.

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