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Mozilla will add support for H.264 in Firefox and mobile

The Mozilla foundation is on the verge of making an important shift as for the policy of video codecs use in Firefox and other products: Mitchell Baker, chairperson of the non-profit organization, announced that soon the Red Panda browser and other web-based tech cooked by the foundation will support the H.264/MPEG-4 standard for video compression.

It’s a fundamental change that Mozilla “tried to avoid for a number of years”, Baker states, “as H.264 is encumbered by patents”. The foundation had high expectations for the adoption of WebM, the HTML5 video standard acquired, developed and chosen by Google as the format of choice for Chrome and the other browsers caring for a free and open web.

And yet the supposed “revolution” promised by Mountain View didn’t come, while mobile products capable of playing H.264-encoded contents grew and are still growing in popularity among old and new Internet users – even on Google Android, where Chrome relies on Flash fallback in that regard.

As all the new “hot” things in technology seem to happen in the mobile space these days, Mozilla feels the need to support a patent-encumbered, closed (and yet royalty-free) standard to not became irrelevant together with Firefox, the Boot to Gecko proto-OS and all its products in the upcoming future.

“It’s time to focus on shipping products people can love now, and to work on developing a new tactic for bringing unencumbered technology to the world of audio and video codecs”, Baker states. Better give users what they want instead of blindly pursuing Mozilla’s core values, the foundation head suggests.

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