In just months, from seemingly nowhere, Apple’s solo campaign to dethrone Flash as the de facto standard for web video has gathered enough momentum to get over the top. The question is no longer whether HTML5 will or should do the job, but when.
Last week signaled the tipping point, when Microsoft confirmed HTML5 video support would be included in the next version of Internet Explorer, which is due later this year. That move will swing the percentage of browsers supporting the nascent standard well above half, and will rapidly accelerate adoption by publishers, despite lingering technical and legal issues.
The shift is already happening on the mobile web, and eventually--in perhaps as soon as two years--HTML5 can be expected to serve most new video online.
“There’s a ton of momentum behind HTML5, and it’s well-justified momentum,” Mozilla VP of engineering Mike Shaver tells Webmonkey. “The future of the web is the web, and betting against the web is a bad idea.”
Flash has been taking a beating lately. First, the iPhone ignored it, and now the iPad is ignoring it. Apple CEO Steve Jobs is on a public rampage against the technology. He and other proponents of open web technologies are calling for advances in HTML5 to fully replace the Flash Player.
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