After igniting a hailstorm of controversy over its intent to drop HTML5’s H.264 support from its Chrome brewer, Google has reaffirmed its intent to push its own open WebM video codec via Flash-like plugins for Internet Explorer and Safari users. The reason: Google wants to ship free platforms without incurring external licensing fees.
Read this and see how Google is turning rapidly to the Dark Side. This has to do with Google not wanting to pay others for their IP. H.264 carries some licensing fees for companies like Google. Since Google gives Chrome away for free, it has to sell more adds to make up for the licensing.
So in this dispute, Google isn’t standing up for open standards, it’s standing up for the right to push ads through platforms based on free operating system software, relieving it from having to deal with Microsoft and Apple and other platform vendors. The only way it can afford to do that is if video is delivered without technologies that cost money.
Partnered with Adobe’s Flash Player, Google can roll out commercial video on Android and Chrome OS and simply have Adobe pay for it as the middleware vendor of a proprietary plugin platform running on top of Google’s own. This makes it clear that Google’s WebM strategy has little to do with openness, and is really just intended to save Google money.
All this stuff about being wanting to be more open is a smoke screen. They want others to pay, even if it requires proprietary plug-ins. OPenness does not trump cheapness.They have made WebM free for now but they could always change that. And they have not let anyone get a real detailed look at WebM in a way to satisfy IP experts that WebM does not infringe on other patents.
Now Chrome is also supposed to be the basis for a lot more of Google’s strategy than just a browser. It is an operating system also. I bet this carries over to that also.
One of the benefits of HTML5 was to get around proprietary plug-ins. Now, thanks to Google, we will have to maintain plug-ins either from Adobe or from Google. Google just undermined the strategy moving forward of an open standards panel, sending everything back to square one.
The industry has adopted the best video codec because of its quality. And they pay for that quality. Google wants them to adopt a lower quality video so it does not have to pay. Do people really want to see crappy quality video on their new 52 inch HD TV?
According to the article, WebM can not really be improved without definitely hitting patent minefields. But Google does not really care if its software uses other people’s IP. Android is another example of this which is why Oracle is suing Google over possibly misappropriating Java technology.
Seems a little evil to me. Not really something that serves the needs of their consumers. It does, of course, serve the needs of Google’s customers – the advertisers.
Onecommenter hit the nail on the head, with perhaps the new slogan for Google:
“Do no Evil’, really??
Shouldn’t it be more like: ” Externalise costs and risks to third parties to protect advertising monopoly cash-cow”.
I think this is a bonehead move by Google, where it has allowed its own needs – offer more advertising for ‘free’ – to trample those needs of the people using its products.