In a controversial move, Google has decided to drop support for the H.264 video codec from Chrome. At the moment, much of the web's video content is encoded as H.264 (including video from Google's own YouTube). In addition, H.264 is a widely used codec for HTML5 video, which aims to replace Flash as the preferred way to serve video to users.
Specifically, we are supporting the WebM (VP8) and Theora video codecs, and will consider adding support for other high-quality open codecs in the future. Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies.Read More
This afternoon, Google finally unveiled its long-awaited Chrome operating system. Bits and pieces of information concerning Chrome OS have been floating around for some time now -- most concretely that it would a) be built primarily for the web and b) that unlike Google's Android mobile operating system, Chrome is made for personal and desktop computers. But today marks the most comprehensive look at the operating system that Google has given us. (Note that the current, non-final build of Chrome OS is and has been available for download at http://getchrome.eu/download.php). Some tech pundits have criticized Google for the delay in Chrome OS's release, saying that with the advent of mobile computing and the popularity of Android, that ship has already sailed. Google, however, contends that this is a distinct product, that it will fill a currently unfilled gap in what users need, and -- perhaps most daringly -- that the netbook isn't dead. (And they'll put their money where their mouth is by working with manufacturing partners to create Google-branded, Chrome OS powered netbooks.) So what defines Chrome OS?Read More
If DigiTimes is to be believed, this will be the month that netbooks powered by Google's Chrome OS will begin shipping worldwide, to be followed by a second round next month. Per DigiTimes, Google's manufacturing partner Inventec will prepare an initial run of 60,000 to 70,000 Google-branded Chrome netbooks, which "will feature an ARM-based platform and will not be selling through retail channels"; thereafter, Acer and Hewlett-Packard will "test the water" with their own Chrome OS-powered offerings, presumably geared towards a mass audience. As BGR points out, DigiTimes has "an extremely mixed record" with its reports -- this one is attributed only to "sources" -- but when DigiTimes is right, it's often on the cutting edge; make of that fact pattern what you will. (DigiTimes via BGR)Read More
A day after the news got out that Google was banning Windows use among its employees due to security concerns, they've announced, if not a hard release date, a release ballpark for their own Chrome operating system.
According to Sundar Pichai, Google's VP of product management, Chrome OS will be coming some time in the "late fall."
Reuters: "Chrome OS is one of the few future operating systems for which there are already millions of applications that work," Pichai said. "You don't need to redesign Gmail for it to work on Chrome. Facebook does not need to write a new app for Chrome."Read More
Earlier this month, Google rolled out a cheeky, competitive video that compared the speed of Google's Chrome browser with a potato gun, sound waves, and lightning, with Chrome getting the upper hand each time. Now, just days after Chrome for Mac and Linux phased out of beta, Norway-based Opera Software has launched a parody of the Chrome video with a distinctly Scandinavian sense of humor.
Rather than compare the speed of their Opera browser to a shooting potato, they compared it to a boiling potato. Many hijinks ensue, including the titularly-alluded-to herring sword fight, in what is at once an homage to Google's video and a mockery of its silliness and pomp.Read More
In a move pretty clearly made to get Apple's goat, just days after the second coming unveiling of the iPad, Google has been dropping hints about its own potential tablet PC. Now, there are pictures of what the Google Tablet might look like.
These aren't coming directly from Google, per se, but neither are they coming from rumor forums or Twitter; rather, Google's user interface designer, Glen Murphy, appears to have put them up on Chromium.org, the official site for Google's OS. So it's not guaranteed that these are for real, but neither is it baseless speculation:Read More
The Official Google Enterprise Blog has announced that come March 1, Google will be phasing out support for old browsers. Google Docs and Google Sites will be the first Google cloud functionalities to go, but the language of the post implies that others will follow. Though the change applies to Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari, it's hard not to see one target at the heart of all of this: Internet Explorer 6.Read More