Over the past 3 years Apple Inc. has taken the heat on pushing the adoption of the W3C standard, HTML5, for all web based development. They have even been taken to court for not allowing competitor's technology (Flash) on their platform (iOS). Recently to avoid any more blame for flaws in these 3rd party technologies, they have stopped pre-installing them on all hardware products they ship.

Now the companies behind these other technologies are showing signs of support for Apple's directions. Are Microsoft shifts away from Silverlight and Adobe announcing the HTML5 Video Player widget indications that Apple rivals in the HTML5 war are finally given up?

This recent Microsoft decision is in line with their statement 4 years ago stating that, what they had done with Internet Explorer for the past 6 version were wrong and IE8 is the start of HTML5 compliancy.

Recently Microsoft released beta version of IE9 at PDC, which will be even more compliant with HTML5 than any previous versions of Internet Explorer.

The mess that are current web sites is really the fault of Microsoft. For creating browsers (IE) that are too tolerant of HTML coding mistakes and non-conformation to the HTML standards. Microsoft also provided web developers with technologies (ASP, etc.) and tools (.NET) that are not W3C standards. Along with the prevalent of Microsoft technologies in the 3rd world countries, these created a low cost labour force that further propagates non-standards web sites and applications. Fortunately with Apple's and other members of W3C efforts web site and applications owners are finally demanding HTML5 compliance.

Microsoft's statement about HTML5 is not to say they are abandoning Silverlight, Silverlight is still the development environment for their Windows 7 Phone platform. What they are saying is that HTML5 is Microsoft's future directions for true cross platform compatibility. This is a significant message to all web site and application owners. In the past these owners are only focused on the platform [Windows] they felt majority of the computing users are using. Now they are told that if they want to future prove their products and services they should focus on HTML5.

As for Adobe, they are not giving up on Flash either. They released the HTML5 Video Player widget because their users [developers] are demanding ways to be compatible with the iOS platform; it being the largest consumer of HTML5 content at the moment. I'm sure they are also aware of the efforts YouTube, Vimeo and others are doing to make their respective sites compliant with HTML5. One of the largest video sharing site, YouKu, serving the largest population in the world made their site compatible with on the iOS platform in July this year.

In the same month, we saw one of the largest online business migrating to HTML5; the porn industry. The adult film studio Digital Playground announces it will convert its mobile sites to HTML5. History teaches us that when the porn industry puts its supports behind a technology all competitive technologies will eventually disappear. Case in point is the VHS and Beta video cassette tape format war.

If you know me I am a strong proponent of standards compliance, I first express my opinions publicly with my article Compatibility. So I am very happy to see HTML5 is showing signs of wining the war. This will results in better build web sites and applications in the long run. Content will finally be separated from the technologies they are served in. How? I will leave this as a topic for another article.

HTML5 has long been promoted by Apple, Google, Mozilla, Opera, Microsoft, etc. as the future for the web. Apple even went as far as not supporting Flash on its mobile platforms (iOS) to further promotes the use of HTML5 in web site development. Apple's decision caused a major war of words between Adobe and Apple, plus all sort of underhanded tactics from both companies in an attempt to cripple the other's technology/platform. Adobe recently released a new version of its mobile Flash, but it done so for almost all mobile platforms except for iOS. This is often seen as a retaliation of Apple's modifications to its iOS Developers' Terms of Use, to exclude tools like the one found in the latest Adobe's Flash development environment.

While Google openly supports and promotes the use of HTML5, it also supports Flash on its latest Android platform. Now that users have experienced Flash on the latest Android OS (v2.2), they have found Flash app/movies to run slowly and cause their Android enabled mobile devices to drain their batteries quickly.

On the other hand both Google and Apple have published respective technology demonstration pages to show off the capabilities of HTML5. Google even made a HTML5 version of their popular online video site, YouTube.

Last week the adult film studio Digital Playground announced that it will convert all its mobile sites to use HTML5 and its native supports for video embedding instead of using Flash videos. This is so that their sites will be compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices.

In the past technology formats have won over their respective competing formats when the porn industry throw its supports behind it. Case in point is the VHS video tape format over the BETA video tape format; even though experts believes BETA is a superior format, simply because the porn industry decided to release videos only in VHS format.

I believe this support by a major porn video production company will exaggerate the adoption of the W3C HTML5 standard as in VHS over BETA.


On the weekend Google released its Gears technology to the Safari browser on Mac OS X. You may still have to click on the "Mac" platform link if the Gears' platform test script still claims that your Safari browser is not supported. Alternatively you can go directly to the Gears Macintosh platform .dmg download.

For those who does not know what Gears is you can check out Gears' FAQ page. In short it enables web developers to create offline versions/components of their web applications.

Like with most things that Google does, Gears is opensource. Although this is true I am still trying to figure out why one would code to Gears rather than the more Standards compliant HTML5? If anyone like to share their thoughts, please submit a comment below.