Now that Internet Explorer 9 has been let out its cage, we all know a great deal more about Microsoft’s position towards the video codec situation with the HTML5 video tag. Microsoft has chosen for H264, a codec it already includes in Windows by default anyway. This means that apart from Firefox and Opera, every other major browser will support H264. Some are seeing this as a reason for Mozilla to give in to their ideals and include support for H264 as well – I say: Mozilla, stick to your ideals. The last people you should be listening to in matters like this are web developers.
The problem is, however, that most people don’t care. So if Firefox can’t play H.264, and thus can’t watch Youtube and insert video site of choice here, the users aren’t going to shun Youtube but will shun Firefox. Simple as that. Look, this isn’t bloody complicated. On platforms that have a multimedia framework, use it! Theora can be played internally, while other videos will be spawned off to the framework. Mozilla keeps their ideals, and end users keep Firefox instead of switching to Chrome or IE. Unless I’m mistaken, Opera has done this at least with GStreamer on Linux. Mozilla’s current stance is going to lose them a huge market share.