The competition is stiff because the open source H.264 encoder, which is x264, is one of the best available _period_. It is top of the line software closed or open source.
The ultimate problem is that Apple is the #1 seller of smartphones and tablets and they absolutely refuse to have their systems support anything other then H.264. Apple, btw, is also a member of MPEG-LA so they make money from patent licensing of that codec.
It really doesn't matter if you have a better codec or not. Compatibility is far and away the most important thing.
I don't see why it's up to Google to disable it in Chrome or what you think they would achieve by doing so.Yep. Unless Google is willing to drop h.264 support in Chrome/Android it's becoming pretty obvious that no other codec will take it's place,
If webm is going to displace h.264 it will be because it will be easier, cheaper, and most importantly: be better. Better in terms of integration into tools and ease of use as well as offering equal quality.
Breaking your browser and making people not want to use it isn't going to help webm out any.
They can either:
1. Only save content in h264 form, which will work everywhere (as soon as Firefox adds support)
2. Only save content in WebM (or another codec) which will only work in Firefox, Chrome, or possibly a few other targets. This simply is not going to happen, especially while Apple insists on using h264 only with all their products.
3. They can save content in multiple formats and serve different clients different formats.
#3 is what Google can drive by dumping h264 support in Chrome/Android. If they don't, websites simply won't bother with keeping another copy because there is no reason for them to do so and it wastes resources/money.
No, Google dropping h264 from Chrome/Android would not make distributors go with #3. The costs of storing double videos and re-encoding their video library aside (though that's reason enough not to do it), VP8 not hardware decoded on the majority of the phones/tablets out there, so users would just be complaining about battery drain. And then go with the iPhone/iPad for their next mobile device.
Dropping h264 from Chrome on the desktop wouldn't make providers go to vp8 video either, because Chrome has first class Flash integration. So Chrome users could still watch the h264 videos, just with Flash instead of native html5 video.
They all have licenses to use them because they're part of the "patent pool", Windows and OS X can play the files but lock everything else out one way or the other, and they end up using their position to force all the hardware makers who do have to pay to use the patents use it instead of open standards.
h.264 and JPEG-XR are not open standards, they're patent encumbered spceifications that will get you sued if you try to implement them.
In at least one case, the x264 developers, who like to keep their heads in the cloud and FUD open standards, had an algorithm they came up with stolen and patented by one of the companies in the patent pool. (It's OK for THEM to steal because they're big and rich and you won't last 5 seconds if you try to sue them)
i can not unterstand why they do not use a highquality format like PNG instead of crap "RAW"
and the consumers even do not have a choice no one sell a PNG cam...
same with h264 there is no webM cam. :-(