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If you all remember, Google Chrome will drop support for H.264 in the coming months and will only support WebM (VP8) and Theora codecs.
The reason is being getting into rapid innovation in the web media platform in the coming year and are focusing our investments in those technologies that are developed and licensed based on open web principles.
Well Google has started pushing its browser more towards HTML5 standards. Mozilla’s Firefox and Opera are the other two browsers which are encouraging developers to use WebM codecs.
The only important website that uses WebM is YouTube, Google’s video sharing service. Internet Explorer, Safari and iOS devices are still yet to think about supporting WebM.
Upon all this stories, Microsoft started releasing few add-ons for Chrome and Firefox which keeps them in touch with H.264 video format. Microsoft has started interoperability work related to modern web standards which are no way limited to Internet Explorer 9.
WMP HTML5 Add-on for Firefox
According to Microsoft,
The HTML5 Extension for Windows Media Player Firefox Plug-in is an add-on that enables Firefox users to play H.264-encoded videos on HTML5 pages by using the built-in capabilities found in Windows 7.
The Extension is based on a Firefox Add-on that parses HTML5 pages and replaces Video tags with a call to the Windows Media Player plug-in so that the content can be played in the browser.
This Add-on replaces video tags only if the video formats specified in the tag are among those supported by Windows Media Player. Tags that contain other video formats are not touched.
Tech Link: Download this add-on.
WMP HTML5 Extension for Chrome
Similar to Firefox add-on, this extension for chrome enables its users to play H.264-encoded videos (aka MP4) on HTML5 pages by using the built-in capabilities found in Windows 7.
Tech Link: Download this extension.
Well both the extensions checks if the browsers already supports MP4 (H.264) video codec, if so the extension will not be effective.
It’s very clear that H.264 provides a high-quality videos and is widely-used video format that serves the Web very well today. But browser providers like Google, Mozilla are stopped supporting it as they have to pay more royalties!
Microsoft has worked closely with Google to help them deliver a WebM implementation on Windows.