Counterpoint: Microsoft Sticks with HTML 5 vs Flash

We have been watching the ever escalating war between Adobe and Apple over using Adobe Flash vs HTML5.  Right now, its looking like Apple is winning their argument, and the world is shifting to HTML5 as a video viewing standard.  Web sits across the board, including Facebook and YouTube, are already converting their videos.  And now, Microsoft wants to chime in their two cents.

Dean Hachamovitch, General Manager for Internet Explorer at Microsoft, has announced that IE9 will use only the H.264 standard to play HTML 5 video. Microsoft seems to have become very committed to HTML 5, while Flash loses even more ground.

From the IEBlog, Mr Hachamovitch says:

The future of the web is HTML5. Microsoft is deeply engaged in the HTML5 process with the W3C. HTML5 will be very important in advancing rich, interactive web applications and site design. The HTML5 specification describes video support without specifying a particular video format. We think H.264 is an excellent format. In its HTML5 support, IE9 will support playback of H.264 video only.

H.264 is an industry standard, with broad and strong hardware support. Because of this standardization, you can easily take what you record on a typical consumer video camera, put it on the web, and have it play in a web browser on any operating system or device with H.264 support (e.g. a PC with Windows 7). Recently, we publicly showed IE9 playing H.264-encoded video from YouTube.  You can read about the benefits of hardware acceleration here, or see an example of the benefits at the 26:35 mark here. For all these reasons, we’re focusing our HTML5 video support on H.264.

It looks like Adobe Flash may be down for the count, or at least suffering a technical knockout.  However, dont count them out completely.  Adobe announced that there will be Adobe Flash player 10.1 available on the Android platform starting in June.

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