Originally Posted by jragosta
As of today, EVERY browser can play h.264.
Correction: Every browser can use plugins like Flash, and Flash might use h264 or some other codec, but the browser still doesn't support those codecs. Basically, the codec used by Flash is irrelevant to the browser.
Only a small percentage can play WebM. Even when the next version of Chrome comes out, less than 10% of the browsers in use will play WebM while 90% (all but Chrome) will play H.264 natively.
Chrome, Firefox and Opera will not play h264. That's nearly 50% global market share (in Europe, Firefox is the top browser).
When Firefox 4 is released, most Firefox users will start using it, which means that in addition to the 10-15% market share of WebM-supporting Chrome versions, WebM-supporting Firefox versions will add to that, so that it adds up, to nearly 50% over a few months. And Chrome is growing extremely fast.
On the other hand, Safari has a mere 5% share of the market. And as history shows, uptake of new IE versions is extremely slow, so h264 supporting browsers will be lucky if their collective market share is more than 10% at the end of 2011.
40-50% for WebM vs. 5-10% for h264.
Just how in the world does that suggest that WebM has a huge lead?
Because a bigger part of the user base of the browsers that support WebM
are updated to the latest versions, while the browsers with h264 support have a problem with low market share, and extremely slow migration from older versions to new versions.
Add to this the fact that all you need to do on Windows and Mac is to install the WebM codec on the system, and IE9 and Safari will suddenly support it. As far as I know. On the other hand, Chrome, Firefox and Opera are apparently not going to allow h264 to be used at all.
And that doesn't even get into the quality and performance issues where WebM is severely lacking.
Actually, compared to h264 baseline, which is what everyone is using, WebM isn't far behind. And quality doesn't really matter here.