There are signs that things could potentially change drastically in your web browsing world. Within the past week, there are some things that should make you stand up and notice.
It’s not a matter of coolness or funkiness that should make you stand up and pay attention. It’s the lack of support for Adobe Flash that stands out for me. Instead, the focus on the browser to support the HTML5 standard is key. You should read as much as you can about HTML5. Start with the Wikipedia article to get a sense of where this upgrade to the technology is headed. Can a singular device signal a change in direction? Whether it’s the cart or the horse, consider that few had heard of Firewire before the fruit coloured iMacs. Remember the outrage when the new Macbooks came without Firewire. Many forecast the end of the world but witness the growth in digital cameras that don’t require Firewire.
Then, from the Google blog, we see this post. It’s not big and flashy and is provided almost as friendly advice that it’s time to make sure that you’re using a modern browser. That’s always good advice for any software as the bad guys work to exploit vulnerabilities in software. You want to make sure that you’re fully patched. However, the message that new features in Google Docs and Google Sites won’t work with older browsers is ominous. You’ve got a month to upgrade and the blog post indicates that you’ll see the effects starting March 1.
With the leader’s share in browser installations, any change to a web browsing standard has to include Microsoft. They are onside and, in fact, have a testing centre set up here. There’s another sign that you cannot ignore. A concern on the Microsoft end of things is Silverlight which would join the Flash player in a fully implemented HTML5.
Arguably the biggest dispenser of media, YouTube, is onboard with this as well. There is an opt-in service that lets you abandon the Flash player in favour of HTML5 for viewing your videos.
See what happens when you incorporate HTML5 into the way you’re doing things by looking at Jillion’s HTML5 Media Player’s demo.
Is HTML5 the answer? A lot of really smart people think so. Flash support seems to be the most noticeable. After all, how many times do you turn on your computer and there’s a security update for the Flash player? Or, you get to a website and receive the message “Problems playing content – update your Flash player”. But, HTML5 is much more than alternatives to that player.
The signs are there if you’re paying attention. Whatever browser you’re using will typically push out a message when there are upgrades. You may or may not pay attention to it, but I would suggest that the writing is on the wall. When you get the notification that it’s time to upgrade, you really should. If you’re still using Internet Explorer 6, you need to read this article.
There are great browsers available that give you the full internet experience now and you’re going to want to continue it into the future. Get on board and upgrade your browser(s) today. It’s not terribly difficult; just take the update when it’s offered. There will come a time when all major browsers support it on their current platform. But, you’ve got to be running the current version.
For a really technical reading, check this out.