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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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HTML5 – Future of the web (Of Winners and Losers) (Part II)

Posted in Internet and Search by Manas Ganguly on October 19, 2011

Continued from earlier post

Mobile application developers will also benefit from having a consistent set of interfaces across their target platforms. Suffering currently from the high cost of developing for multiple platforms, as HTML5 is fleshed out with related technologies like WebGL and hardware device APIs they will increasingly be able to have a single source code base that can be deployed across a wide variety of mobile platforms. Third-party HTML5 frameworks like Sencha and Appcelerator already help make that possible.

Less obvious is the benefit HTML5 offers for mobile device vendors that are lagging in the war to gather applications. Many developers have ignored webOS and BlackBerry because of the high cost of developing a separate version of their applications. Running HTML5 will give those platforms a new lease on life — if webOS hasn’t completely disappeared by the time HTML5 has a chance to try and save it.
Amazon has been quick to realize the potential for HTML5 to unlock more content for its Kindle platform, announcing a new version of the Kindle e-Book format, KF8, that is based on HTML5, and an HTML5-based Kindle reader available on the web. What Amazon will lose in its proprietary lock on the Kindle format it is hoping to make up for with a surge of content suitable for its Kindle readers, resulting from the support of HTML5.

The Losers

From the outside the apparent losers from HTML5 would seem to be Adobe and Apple. Adobe has been king of the cross-platform development hill with Flash, where it has a near-monopoly on development tools. Adobe is quickly gearing up with an impressive set of similar tools for HTML5, but it won’t have the same monopoly position it enjoyed with Flash. Countering its loss of market share, the total market may expand exponentially as HTML5 is likely to experience dramatic growth for the forseeable future — and of course includes the iOS platform as a target, always a sticking point for Flash. In the long run Adobe believes it can use its broad suite of tools to continue to be the leader in standards-based web development tools — HTML5 or not.

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HTML5 – Future of the web (Of Winners and Losers)

Posted in Internet and Search by Manas Ganguly on October 17, 2011

HTML5 and the related technologies augmenting and complimenting it are set to modernize the technology of the web. HTML5 is an umbrella term that is often used to include HTML5 itself, plus scores of enhancements to programming and media control capabilities, but the technical changes are just the beginning of HTML5′s impact. What follows are the new capabilities which will be big changes in how money can be generated on the web. There are going to be both significant winners and losers.

Who Wins?

Content providers are the clearest winners from the widespread adoption of HTML5. Instead of having to develop dedicated applications for each mobile platform, to give their customers a compelling experience, they will be able to offer a single, HTML5-based offering that will run across desktops and mobile devices — greatly reducing their development costs.
• DirecTV has launched an HTML5 interface using cross-platform HTML5 framework Sencha, for example.
• Comedy news site The Onion was able to develop its tablet front end in only 6 weeks by relying on HTML5.

Even more important for content providers, making their sites available through HTML5 “web apps” can break the monopoly of app stores. Instead of paying Apple a 30% royalty on a magazine or newspaper subscription, for example, publishers can sell the subscriptions to customers directly — since they won’t need to have their applications distributed through an application store anymore. A simple web authentication of a subscription will suffice, and the web app would be available from any device that supports HTML5.
• The Financial Times has already gone this route, trumpeting the business value, and the added convenience of a single sign-on and consistent interface across platforms for consumers.

Also breathing a sigh of relief as HTML5 is adopted will be the developers of cloud-based software solutions. Box.net has already announced an HTML5 front end, as an alternative to running dedicated applications on each client platform. Other enterprise software vendors using the cloud, like Salesforce.com, aren’t far behind in adopting HTML5 as their client platform. Since the entire premise of the cloud is that everything should be available everywhere, it is only a matter of time before almost all cloud services veer towards HTML5 front ends to become universally accessible.

continued here

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HTML5: Remaking the Web

Posted in Applications and User Interfaces, The Technology Ecosystem by Manas Ganguly on April 17, 2011

A couple of months back, I had begunby explaining to a friend the utility concept of HTML5 as a cross platform, open source (developer friendly) and the spooling/ information caching platform. While these remain central to HTML 5, a lots more been added and this series of posts tries to cover HTML5, the future of Web.

HTML5 is no longer just a buzz word. It — along with JavaScript and CSS3 — is quickly helping reshape perceptions of what a web browser and web standards can achieve.

With browsers implementing more HTML5 features across platforms and devices, developers are starting to integrate many of the new features and frameworks into their web apps, websites and web designs.
Although HTML5 is its own standard, the power of HTML5 is really only best realized with the use of CSS 3 and JavaScript. JavaScript, in particular, has quickly emerged as one of the best ways to help render great looking effects, animations and content in a self-contained, platform-agnostic way.

Over the last 12 months, the momentum behind HTML5 has continued to build, with application developers, browser makers and hardware vendors fully embracing and supporting the web of the future. Consumers have started to embrace HTML5 as well, especially as more users understand the benefits and potential that HTML5 can mean for the future. With Firefox 4, Google Chrome, IE 9, Safari 5 and Opera all offering better, more robust support for HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript, we’re already seeing glimpses of what is possible and what the web of the future may look like.

The effort here, is to list the features of the HTML5 browsing and the reasons why it is such a critical piece for web App development.

Batter Typography and Custom Fonts

Deployment and Use of Web Font (such as Web Open Font Format, or services like Font.com, TypeKit, Google Web Font API) gives content creators, brands and developers a way to better express and control the most important part of an app or website — the text — without having to rely on images or Flash implementations that don’t always work well for translated text or with search engines.

Boilerplates and ToolKits

Created and perfected over 2.5 years by Paul Irish and Divya Manian, HTML5 Boilerplate is not essentially a framework. It’s a template that can be modified and used for projects by developers world over. It’s one of the most robust and well-commented starting points we’ve seen for setting up a solid HTML5 base for web projects. Boilerplate is openly available under a public domain license; which can be used and integrated it into your web projects as per the developer needs and requirements.

The following slides explain the utility of HTML5 Boilerplates in web Context.

Continued…

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The web’s new walls

Posted in Internet and Search by Manas Ganguly on October 25, 2010

Adapted from an economist article by the same name.

Internet is now evolving into plural internets. As divergent forces tug at the internet,it is in danger of losing its universality and splintering into separate digital domains.

The internet is as much a trade pact as an invention. A network of networks, it has grown at an astonishing rate over the past 15 years because the bigger it got, the more it made sense for other networks to connect to it. Its open standards made interconnections cheap and easy, dissolving boundaries between existing academic, corporate and consumer networks. Just as free trade agreements increases size of the market and boosts gains from trade, so did the internet lead to greater gains from the exchange of data, and allowed innovation to flourish. But now the internet is so large and so widely used that countries and companies and network operators want to wall bits of it off, or make parts of it work in different ways to promote their commercial interests.

WWW is for Walled wide web.

There are three sets of walls being built. The first one is national. China’s “great wirewall” already imposes tight controls on internet links with the rest of the world, monitoring traffic and making many sites or services unavailable. Governments are tightening controls on what people can see and do on the internet.

Second, companies are exerting greater control by building “walled gardens”. Facebook has its own closed internal email system. Google has built a suite of integrated weg based services. Users of Apple mobile devices have tightly defined Apple services which do not talk to devices and services beyond Apple ambit. Apple is the gatekeeper to users right and priviledges on mobiles and internet.

Thirdly, there are concerns that telecom operators looking for new sources of revenue are striking deals with content providers that favour specific websites to show up in a violation of net neutrality. This could be a serious dampener to innovation on the open internet.

Thus the incentives that used to favour greater interconnection now point the other way. While the WWW is not certainly dead as many critics comment too far, the net is looking some or lot of its openness and universality.

The walled approach is not always bad as proven by Apple, whose harvests from its walled garden have enabled it to provide services and devices that delight its customers, who may be happy to trade a little openness for greater security or ease of use; if not, they can go elsewhere. However, restrictions imposed by governments are more troubling, and harder to deal with.Governments inclined to censor might be swayed by arguments that focus on the economic benefits of openness. For Instance, China could be reminded how much more its scientists could achieve if they had unfettered access to information.

Operators on the other hand who fragment the internet by erecting new road-blocks or toll booths stand to lose customers to rival firms. The live case here is Android which has gained in dominance over Apple basis its “openness” and “innovation”.

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Microsoft takes on Google as Office moves to Web

Microsoft Corp will release three versions of its dominant Office software that users can access over the Web, catching up with products that rival Google Inc launched three years ago. The news helped send shares in the world’s largest software maker up up 2.7 percent by midday, more than double the gain in the Nasdaq Composite Index.

It is the latest salvo in an intensifying war between Microsoft and Google.

Google announced plans last week to challenge Windows with a free operating system. Microsoft introduced a new search engine, Bing, last month.

Microsoft is finally making the conversion through the Web-based world. First, we saw that through Bing. Now we are seeing that through Office.Microsoft will offer for free to consumers Web-based versions of its Office suite of programs, including a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation software and a note-taking program.

Microsoft will also host one Internet business version of Office at its own data centers, charging companies a yet-to- be-announced fee. Companies with premium service contracts will have the choice of running a second Web-based version from their own data centers at no extra cost.

The company hopes to make money by using the free software to lead users to its ad-supported websites, including Bing. Analysts have said that Bing’s early signs of success suggest Microsoft may be rounding the corner in efforts to turn around its money-losing Internet division.

Still, a free version of Office could hurt sales of Microsoft’s top-selling and most profitable unit. One of Office’s most popular titles is a home version that sells for $150. It includes the four programs that Microsoft will give away.

“Microsoft is in a tough spot. Their competition isn’t just undercutting them. They are giving away the competitive product,” said Sheri McLeish, an analyst with Forrester Research.The Office division rang up operating profit of $9.3 billion on sales of $14.3 billion in the first three quarters of the software maker’s current fiscal year.

McLeish expects Microsoft to overtake Google in the market as the hundreds of millions of people who use Office flock to try out the Internet version.Microsoft will release the web offerings when it starts selling Office 2010, it next major release of the product, sometime in the first half of next year. Its current version came out in January 2007.

The software maker unveiled an early release on Monday at a conference for business partners in New Orleans. It will be distributed to tens of thousands of testers.Company spokeswoman Janice Kapner said the free Web version will provide “a very rich experience” and probably have more functionality than Google.

Office 2010 is among a wave of upgrades to Microsoft programs planned over the next year. A new version of its ubiquitous Windows operating system is coming out in October and a new version of its widely used email server is also in the works.

Microsoft shares rose 2.7 percent to $23, while the Nasdaq was up 1.2 percent at 1777.50

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