HTML5 – Apple and Microsoft’s Position



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We have all probably quite often come across news about HTML5′s development, its glorious ‘video’, ‘audio’ and ‘canvas’ elements, all the new API’s being incorporated in it, etc. Although the language is still being developed, seeing it mentioned plenty of times made me curious about how much its support has grown among two of the major players in the computer world – Microsoft and Apple, so I took a look.

Apple and their browser Safari definitely have HTML5′s back covered. On their official website they clearly state:
“Every new Apple mobile device and every new Mac — along with the latest version of Apple’s Safari web browser — supports web standards including HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. These web standards are open, reliable, highly secure, and efficient.”
And indeed, promise well kept. As observed in an article by NetworkWorld, “iOS 5′s Safari beats all mobile browsers in HTML5 compatibility”. I think that this is an excellent, humbled response to the realization that they are inevitably going to lose from App store sales as cross-platform mobile development becomes easy. So they might as well get on board with it.

Let’s turn our sights to Microsoft. Boy, are they bragging about their HTML5 support. If one looks at posts in their blogs tagged “html5″ they will probably get an impression that Microsoft are serious about supporting HTML5. The claims that Microsoft make, however, in one of these posts really disturbs me. They claim 99% HTML5 support in IE9. I am quite doubtful of that. They might as well have not been shy and just put 100% there. The catch here is that the tests that they are referring to in their article are their own tests that they used during the development of IE9. Leaving Microsoft’s over-confident nature aside though, it does seem like they are serious about HTML5. Dharmesh Mistry discusses Microsoft’s announcement at the Build conference last month that they will “allow developers to create Windows 8 Metro applications using HTML5 and Javascript” in this blog article. Indeed, as noted in the article, this is quite a big threat to their Silverlight technology in which they invested so much over the years.

Personally, I hope that HTML5′s arrival will live up to the expectations and change the Internet drastically, making development tons easier for developers to create a single version of their applications. I am pleased to see the World Wide Web Consortium and WHATWG forget about past differences and cooperate on it. I am also pleased to see the two giants Apple and Microsoft showing strong positive signals towards it, even if they do it out of necessity.



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