Flash? Who needs Flash?

Not Apple, and now, not Microsoft.

For background, Adobe Flash is a browser plug-in that enables rich media and rich user interfaces. Over time, we’ve all used it for YouTube videos, spiffy re-sizing menus and games like FarmVille and Mafia Wars.

In fact, Flash has been the de facto standard for rich UI over the past decade, eclipsing all others (including Silverlight .. the Microsoft entry in the space).

Ahh .. Silverlight. I barely knew ye.

That’s a lie: While at Microsoft, I worked diligently launching Silverlight 1.0, engaging worldwide partner adoption for early efforts. Painful, but we had some exciting, .NET-driven, browser-based applications adopting the plug-in playbook. The advantage: one code line .. developers could write code with known conventions, extending their .NET experience into a new, plug-in world.

I digress, therefore, I am.

For more background, here are a few, well-known fun facts (at least, in the developer community):

So. Mobile issues aside. The answer? HTML5.

HTML5 boasts a number of syntactical features (features and functionality that confirm to a language .. provided as part of a platform) .. which eliminates the need for a plug-in.

  • Want videos? Embed a <video"> tag .. built into HTML5, which includes position, height, width, codec, etc., etc. and etc.
  • Want absolute positioning? It’s there, built into HTML5.
  • Want SEO (Search Engine Optimization?). it’s built into HTML5.

If the operative term in all cases is: “built into ..”, suffice to say: it is.

Why do I bring this up? Well, TechCrunch (and a host of others) report: “The company announced today Microsoft Excises Flash And Plugins From Metro Internet Explorer In Windows 8”. The title of the article says it all: The shipping browser atop Windows 8 will not support (or need) vendor plug-ins.

This is significant .. remove the platform initiative, and you remove the need for developers to write to the platform.

Hey HTML5 developers: Start here, and here, and here.

About Michael Coates
I am a pragmatic evangelist. The products, services and solutions I write about fulfill real-world expectations and use cases. I stay up-to-date on real products I use and review, and share my thoughts here. I apply the same lens when designing an architecture, product or when writing papers. I am always looking for ways that technology can create or enhance a business opportunity .. not just technology for technology's sake. My CV says: Seasoned technology executive, leveraging years of experience with enterprise and integration architectural patterns, executed with healthy doses of business acumen and pragmatism. That's me. My web site says: Technology innovations provide a myriad of opportunities for businesses. That said, having the "latest and greatest" for its own sake isn't always a recipe for success. Business successes gained through exploiting innovation relies on analysis of how the new features will enhance your business followed by effective implementation. Goals vary far and wide: streamlining operations, improving customer experience, extending brand, and many more. In all cases, you must identify and collect the metrics you can apply to measure your success. Analysis must be holistic and balanced: business and operational needs must be considered when capitalizing on a new technology asset or opportunity.

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