Microsoft has released a new plug-in that lets Firefox take advantage of Windows 7’s native H.264 support. Firefox doesn’t support the H.264 video codec but Windows 7 does. The plug-in scans for HTML5 video tags and passes the video to the Windows Media Player plug-in for playback.
This plug-in makes videos on the web more accessible for Windows 7 users on Firefox but it doesn’t end the web video format wars. At this time there is no single format supported by every browser for every operating system. Microsoft is framing it as an issue of consumer choice but H.246 does come with a high licensing fee that Firefox don’t want to pay. Google Chrome ans Safari support H.246 as well because it’s simply the best option out there and the competition has nothing on it.
Which video format ultimately prevails on the Internet will be decided by the support, not only from desktop browsers, but from mobile platforms as well. iPhone, iPad, Android and other platforms have hardware acceleration for H.264 code so if we have to place our bets on any video format, it would be this one.
[via Download Squad]