The prevalence of hardware H.264 decoding on mobile devices, and the need to compete on mobile, has forced Mozilla to finally change its view towards supporting the codec, despite years of sustained opposition.
Mozilla has recently been working on its HTML-based Boot to Gecko (B2G) project to provide an alternative to iOS and Android, and, given the presence of H.264 decoding in mobile hardware, coupled with the lack of take up in hardware decoding of the alternate WebM codec, Mozilla sees that it needs H.264 decoding to remain relevant and to take the fight to Apple and Google.
"H.264 is absolutely required right now to compete on mobile. I do not believe that we can reject H.264 content in Firefox on Android or in B2G and survive the shift to mobile," wrote Eich.
For more on this ZDNet UK-selected story, see Mobile forces Mozilla's hand on H.264 on ZDNet Australia.
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