Chrome, h.264 and ChromeOS...

I’m not going to go into too much detail about the actual subject and what it all means technologically and everything. If you want to know about that, there are plenty of places to look, and if you don’t know about it at all then please go read something about it before you read this, otherwise it won’t make much sense.

Essentially, Chrome will no longer support h.264 within html5 video tag, out of the box.

I was listening to This Week in Google, episode 77, and listening to what they were saying about this. Something that Kevin Marks said made me think. He said “If you want to make a device cheaper, you reduce the number of things you have to pay for.”, and then my mind floated back to Chrome OS, the operating system built on a linux, and offering only a web browser. Many people think that Google will over very cheap, possibly free, netbooks and laptops with Chrome OS on it.

I’m sure you can see where I’m going. What would be their biggest expensive with developing that (apart from the hardware and the man-power)? Any licenses they have to pay for – h.264.

I think this might be part of their long term plan, as well as trying to force the internet towards the webm format, they are planning on making very cheap netbooks with chromeos on it. So, they make sure people try chrome, people end up liking it, then they take out h.264, as people still like Chrome, and the internet eventually switches away from it, as the only browsers that use h.264 are  Opera IE and Safari just now, which have pathetic amounts of market share.

**EDIT Thanks to kabniel for noticing that Opera, infact, does not support h.264 EDIT**

On the other hand, I frankly think its a stupid move. Openness includes being allowed to use non-open format, in my opinion. If you make people use open source stuff, that is not an open environment. It is as bad as Apple’s App Store terms…

Thats everything. Not a very long blog post, but just something that popped to mind and I thought I would share with the world :-)