This is still entirely true (note that "afford" in the above should be read in the "free license" context, not monetary). For the same reason, Chromium has no H264 support. Patented codecs don't mix well with free software. They took a stance here based on their philosophy, that much should have been obvious.
The reasons not to do it with system codecs before are enumerated here:
Most of them still apply, but are simply less important 2 years later. The Windows XP thing was even brought up in the original discussion thread.
put the user back in the stone age of the internet
I would say that's essentially what the current patent legislation is doing. Worth fighting against.