Adobe has released an HTML5 developer pack and plans to use the new VP8 codec from On2 Technologies, recently made open source by Google. This comes after Apple’s refusal to support Flash on any of their products, including the iPad, and instead choosing to support the open HTML5 standard.
Adobe’s announcement, made at the Google I/O annual developer conference, included details about the developer pack which will be made available as an extension to Dreamweaver CS5.
Apple founder Steve Jobs has gone on record to say that Flash has a bad record when it comes to security , doesn’t perform well on mobile devices and is the primary cause behind Mac system crashes.
However, many users still remain disappointed when confronted by the dreaded empty squares whilst browsing the web – empty squares that would otherwise be filled with rich content on PC’s. Earlier this year, Apple began writing software to bring flash onto the iPhone, but this project has now been canceled – a bold move considering an estimated 75% of online videos require Flash support to play.
The web is a fast moving place, and Adobe is not unique in suddenly finding its business model under threat. The preponderance of Flash content on websites, while free to view, is not free to create – and Adobe derives a substantial part of its revenue from Flash developers. Whether open standards can really replace the capabilities of the Flash platform remains to be seen, but Apple, Microsoft and others may force the issue.
For Adobe there may be little choice other than to accommodate open source standards (such as HTML5) as far as it can, whilst it tries to find ways to keep Flash ahead of the game.
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