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Microsoft brings Firefox H.264 video support to Windows 7

h264 firefoxMozilla doesn't support the proprietary H.264 video format in Firefox, but Microsoft does. While Mozilla has been pushing open-source WebM as the format of choice for HTML5 video tags (with Google's help), Microsoft has released a new plug-in that lets Firefox take advantage of Windows 7's native H.264 support. The plug-in looks for HTML5 video tags and passes the video to the Windows Media Player plug-in for playback.

This workaround does make video on the Web more accessible for Windows 7 users, but it doesn't end the Web video format wars. There's still no single format supported by every current browser in every current OS. Microsoft is framing it as an issue of consumer choice and access to content, but H.264 is still proprietary and subject to licensing fees that Mozilla doesn't want to pay. Supporting an open source format such as WebM makes both financial and philosophical sense for the future of Firefox.

Tags: browsers, firefox, h.264, HTML5, microsoft, mozilla, plugins, video, web, windows 7, Windows7