Hell has frozen over, as Mozilla officially added support for the proriertary H.264 video codec to its open source Firefox browser Tuesday. The implementation of H.264 is done with help from Cisco, which is providing Firefox users with a binary component that can be downloaded once the newest version, 33, of Firefox is installed on a user’s system. However, H.264 videos still won’t play natively in Firefox — the new component is only being used for WebRTC-based video chat.
Cisco and Firefox first announced their collaboration on H.264 a year ago in an attempt to solve a stalemate around the future of browser-based video. The problem: Everyone in the industry is agreeing that the future of voice and video communication is based on WebRTC, an emerging standard that will allow browser and app makers to offer native video chat without the need for any third-party plugins.