This is important because Google just dropped the H.264 codec from Chrome and that codec is widely used to deliver video content to devices without Flash, like the Apple iPhone and iPad. Additionally, H.264 also works with many mobile devices including Android.
Google said it is dropping H.264 because there are licensing fees associated with it and it prefers an open source standard like WebM, which the search giant created. Some are questioning the move because Google bakes in the proprietary Adobe Flash in its Chrome OS notebooks.
The WebM hardware acceleration should mean we’ll see devices that can handle the codec at an acceptable rate without killing battery life. There’s no word on when devices will hit the market but I’d expect at least 6 months (and that’s being very generous).
The WebM stuff is kind of inside baseball but it can have a large impact on consumers in terms of what type of content you can get on your smartphone or tablet. Apple has already turned its back on Flash, so iOS users can’t get access to some web content. Still, many publishers have turned to H.264 to get around the lack of Flash and it’s too soon to tell if Google open source codec will be embraced.