NewTeeVee Live: Adobe CTO: HTML 5 Is “Trying to Do What Flash Already Does”

Kevin LynchDespite standardization happening around HTML 5, the CTO of Adobe Systems told audiences at NewTeeVee Live that members of the W3C are just catching up to what his company has already developed. “It’s good to see innovation happening in HTML,” said Kevin Lynch. “There hasn’t been much happening in HTML in about 10 years. But a lot of that is trying to do what Flash already does today.”

The development of a video tag, which would enable the rendering of video in a browser without a plugin is being touted as one advantage of the new HTML standard. Some suggest that the tag could serve as a potential threat to Flash, Silverlight and other cross-browser, cross-platform video technologies. But Lynch said there are still issues with the standardization process, including the inability of W3C members to decide on a standard codec.

“Standardization already works around the video tag, but the format of video and codecs — those are not part of the HTML standard,” Lynch said. “What that means is that it’s up to browser manufacturers to decide on the video codec, which I see is a continuing advantage of Flash.”

Perhaps more importantly, HTML doesn’t extend beyond the browser to multiple devices, where Adobe is attempting to make its next big push. “The real exciting transition happening is that Flash is coming to a lot of different devices. Televisions are becoming IP-enabled and we’re working with system-on-chip vendors and consumer electronics manufacturers. These devices are starting to come out at the end of this year,” Lynch said.

That will help the delivery of video, but it will also enable a whole wave of new applications to be delivered and used on PCs, mobile devices and even TVs. “We want to make it so that those applications can not only run on devices, but you can place it on computer and on the TV set. The idea is to enable these applications to run consistently across all these devices,” Lynch said. “Flash 10.1 is about getting these things to run consistently across devices.”

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