Google just announced a critical move: They will drop H/264 codec support in Google Chrome browsers and shift their support on their own WebM (VP8) and Theora codecs. The change should happen over the next couple of months. This is very significant and oddly enough, comes after MPEG-LA, the H.264 creator removed the royalties making the codec free as long as it is freely distributed.
Interestingly enough, Flash will still be natively supported in Chrome (and when we say natively means it will come pre-embedded).
Presumably H.264 codec will still be available to install as a plu-in and it might come from the company you least expect – Microsoft which just released one plug-in enabling H.264 video for Firefox. Unfortunately it only works in Windows 7 but it is free and we can’t complain.
The problem is that H.264 is a widely-used across the industry and it is hardware accelerated in many portable devices. If you are using Google Chrome in any portable gadget, expect high definition streaming to stop working properly after the transition which certainly sucks!