This serves two strategic purposes for Google. First, it advances
a codec that’s de facto controlled by Google at the expense of a
codec that is a legitimate open standard controlled by a
multi-vendor governance process managed by reputable international
standards bodies. (“Open source” != “open standard”.) And second,
it will slow the transition to HTML5 and away from Flash by
creating more confusion about which codec to use for HTML5 video,
which benefits Google by hurting Apple (since Apple doesn’t want
to support Flash), but also sucks for users.
Don’t be evil.