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Microsoft mostly sides with Apple in HTML5 fight

updated 09:15 am EDT, Fri April 30, 2010

MS likes HTML5 but still sees Flash as important

Microsoft late Thursday said it largely sided with Apple in the dispute over Flash. The Windows developer's General Manager for Internet Explorer, Dean Hachamovitch, argued that HTML5 was the future of the web and cited the same problems with Flash mentioned by Apple's Steve Jobs. "Reliability, security, and performance" are all issues with Adobe's plugin, Hachamovitch said.

He added that Internet Explorer 9 will support HTML5 from the outset and will only support H.264, the same video format Apple recognizes for its own implementation. Its role as a widespread standard is important as video recorded from a camcorder or another device can be put on the web and played without having to switch codecs, the Microsoft executive said. H.264 is also hardware-accelerated on both Apple and Microsoft devices.

Mozilla and many open-source advocates have been trying to promote Ogg Theora as the default HTML5 video standard, but it has relatively little support outside of Firefox.

Hachamovitch wasn't as hostile towards Flash as Jobs and said the plugin "remains an important part" of the web as it is today. However, he didn't expect Adobe's technology to remain in that position forever.

"The future of the web is HTML5," he said.

by MacNN Staff



  1. kerryb

    Joined: Dec 1969



    You know your technology is out of date when even Microsoft starts dissing it. Adobe is trying to milk their investment in Flash purchase with Macromedia (now looks to be big mistake). Not only did they buy a technology that has a expiration date stamped on it they alienated a bunch of loyal customers for Macromedia and their own. Dropping Golive, killing Freehand and the invention of the CS suites were painful money grabs which did not go unnoticed. I hate when tech companies go corporate and loose track of what they are doing. Anyone planning on giving Adobe money for CS 5 or any of its parts? Not me.

  1. JeffHarris

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It's more than a little jarring when Apple and Microsoft are on the same side (sort of).

    Microsoft has built an empire stealing from Apple and others, so one would hope there are at least a few smart people there.

    Now that MS is dissing Flash, does that mean MS will squash SilverFish? After all, it's pretty similar to Flash. Closed, proprietary, non-standard, insecure...

    @kerryb... I partially live by Photoshop, Acrobat Pro and some Illustrator... though I prefer Freehand, but really can't rely on the kludge Adobe released to run Freehand 11 on Snow Leopard, even though it's now free and it works. I just wonder for how long it'll work.

    So, yeah, I'll be getting CS5 Design Standard. Until someone releases a truly viable alternative, that supports 3d party plug-ins, there's really no alternative to Photoshop. I really don't want to be forced to switch between several applications to do the job of Photoshop.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's silverlight

    So the future of the web is HTML5 and not Microsoft Silverlight...OK, message received...although unnecessary, I don't think Silverlight was going to oust Flash anyway, even if it is cross browser, and runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux. Any word from Steve Jobs on whether Silverlight is also the primary reason Mac's crash?

    Anyway, Flash has lots of problems and Adobe has no clue how to fix them... at the same time, these companies are hilarious with their logic. Flash sites developed before multitouch tend to be programmed for mouse input? Really, you think? What about HTML/Javascript sites that were developed before multitouch, do you think they were developed for mouse input? Oh ya Steve-o, you had a brain f*** that time.

    But no matter...they repeat whatever they think people will believe, without any intellectual honesty.

    They are right about Flash being a resource hog, and open standards being better, but that is just a convenience, these people do not support open standards and will make the opposite argument of what they are saying today, when that suits them. H.264 is certainly not an open standard.

  1. MisterMe

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Font Wars all over again

    Microsoft aligned with Apple during the Font Wars against Adobe. Adobe lost that one as well.

  1. rtamesis

    Joined: Dec 1969


    CS replacement

    Apple should just create its own suite of pro apps that would allow designers to replace Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign and Dreamweaver. That will allow Mac users to completely be free of the clutches of Adobe, which in turn can be free to concentrate on milking PC users as much as it wants.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's good to hear Apple has some support

    against Adobe to at least get an alternative technology into place. I suppose Adobe's CEO will say that Steve Jobs twisted Microsoft's arm to side with them. Adobe should just be satisfied with having all desktops on Flash and leave the mobile market to another video delivery or website design technology. Adobe seems to be over-reacting.

  1. spyintheskyuk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Truth hurts

    Seems to me H.264 is as open as you are likely to get and a magnitude beyond Flash. To ckaim otherwise is churlish.

    As for the comments on Flash not supporting multitouch. Well it doesn't. However HTML5/javascript and many other technologies do so what is wrong with stating that simple fact. Hardly misleading is it even if it doesn't reveal the full history. What it proves and is the ultimate point is that Apple or indeed Microsoft can't introduce their own innovations upgrades without Adobe dictating as and when they can actually be used. Again with HTML/javascript that isn't true either. Seems to me that therefore the OS owners are completely correct to want control over their own destiny and their words deserve a better reception than childish obscenities in response. But then I guess some people have a considerable investment in skills and income from Flash so see things differently but equally the words of those people are hardly more objective to the rest of us are they than those of Steve Jobs, who is after all defending his own similar investments.

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969



    if microsoft is bashing your stuff because of reliability, security and performance issues then you had best take a couple of giant leaps back and have a real close look at it.

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    i eagerly await

    iloveblowjobs and cannonsucks to suggest that adobe just stop making software for microsoft to teach them a lesson. all the artists will just switch to linux and be done with it. that'll learn 'em.

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Adobe Got Lazy

    It's really that simply. Had Adobe build their plugin in a manner that would not have prompted Apple to build it's Safari browser to isolate plugins so that they didn't take down the whole house. Or put in the time and resources to stay current (if not ahead) with tech trends and technologies (ie mobile devices, accelerated hardware). Then Adobe probably would not have gotten a knee-jerk reaction from Apple, which has most certainly accelerated the fall of flash by bring its issues to the attention of the tech world if not the larger consumer consciousness. Of course it they did all of this they probably would have also been on track with new tools and products for HTML5 and it's flash would have quietly faded past without comment.

    So now Adobe is trying to dig in its heals, the problem is they've slipped to far down the slope. It's a substandard product and Adobe got called on it. They have no one to blame but themselves.

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