All the speculation that Google is going to overthrow the H.264 video compression standard with their own VP8 technology for their WebM standard appears to have been debunked by Google. Google has confirmed that there is no current intention of removing H.264 support from YouTube or Android OS with the following statement.
“The announcement is only about the way video is handled within the Chrome browser. It does not affect YouTube or Android.”
I think we can finally drop any pretense that Google’s motive is about promoting WebM/VP8 “openness” based on the following facts.
Google will continue supporting H.264 in Chrome delivered via Flash or Silverlight.
Only Google Chrome’s HTML5 mode will remove H.264 support.
YouTube will not give up on H.264 which should have been blatantly obvious. All those Blu-Ray and other network players have hardware baked in for decoding YouTube H.264, and Google is not going to cede the Apple iOS, IE, and Safari market for streaming video for VP8 which is clearly inferior in video quality according to video experts like Eugenia Loli-Queru.
So what can we conclude from this? Seems like Google is only interested in derailing HTML5 by passing this off as “openness” and claiming they’re merely trying to promote open source codecs. Google is so in favor of openness that they’re going to ensure that proprietary technology like Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight will continue to be the dominant video delivery platforms. That ultimately hurts Apple iOS due to Apple’s unwillingness to support Flash and Silverlight or anything that can compete with the Apple App Store. That’s why it is reasonable to conclude that one of the key motives for Google is to harm Apple by derailing HTML.
[Cross-posted at Digital Society]