Ronnie05's Blog

HTML5 – Future of the web (Losers offsetting losses) (Part III)

Posted in Internet and Search by Manas Ganguly on October 24, 2011

Read Part I and Part II here.

Apple has benefited from a similar monopoly, but on deployment. Capturing 30% of every application and piece of content sold to an iPhone or iPad user has become a multi-billion dollar business for the boys in Cupertino. With HTML5, an increasing amount of content, and eventually applications, will be able to circumvent the Apple bottleneck. The good news for Apple is that the advent of HTML5 may once and for all put their Achilles heel of not supporting Flash behind them. Apple has rushed to adopt HTML5 across its product line, and Steve Jobs was very direct and vocal that the combination of HTML5, CSS, and Javascript was far superior to Flash as far as Apple was concerned.

Apple’s rush to adopt HTML5 might seem to be at odds with what many financial analysts have described as the major threat HTML5 poses to Apple’s monopoly with the App Store. Apple has been tweaking its implementation of HTML5 in the Safari browser to limit some capabilities, like auto-play of audio and video, using customer satisfaction as the reason. Perhaps it’ll be able to continue to steer developers who want the ultimate experience on iPhones and iPads to continue to use the App Store, even if it’s just to sell wrapped versions of their HTML5 interfaces. In any case, Apple has certainly decided that it has more to gain from embracing the emerging HTML5 standard — growing the potential market for iPads and iPhones — and getting out of its morass with Flash, than it would by dragging its feet or proposing its own alternative. Complicating matters are some ongoing patent disputes between Apple and the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) — which drives standards for the web.

If Adobe and Apple are right in their public assessment of the opportunities which HTML5 presents them, then Microsoft may be the biggest loser — although even desktop vendors will benefit in some ways, as trendy web applications will be able to run on their machines, instead of being limited to tablets. Of the big loosers, is the web monopoly notably Microsoft. HTML5’s platform independence hits Microsoft where it hurts the most: Desktops and Desktop Applications. Obviously Microsoft isn’t standing still, so whether their share of internet-connected devices continues to slip — from 95% to 50% in the last three years — is open to debate, but the dominance will clearly erode, a trend likely to be accelerated by HTML5′s device-independent promise.
Revamping the web with an improved set of content protocols might really benefit everyone.

Clearly, though, Microsoft, Apple, and Adobe have the most at risk, and could still turn out big losers on this one.

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