The Tipping Point: HTML5 vs Flash

HTML5 is winning the battle against Flash, one baby step at the time.

I got this gut feeling last night, when Radu told me:

“Dude, Grooveshark switched to HTML5”

Things are not that black and white, however. As I read today in RWW, the actual streaming still gets done via Flash, but the interface is written in full blown HTML5. Unfortunately, you still won’t be able to play Grooveshark on your iWhatever.

I also remember that a few months back, when we had to choose a technology for rendering charts for TimeOP, we didn’t even consider Flash as an option (even though it had … flashier animations and transitions). Instead, we went with Highcharts, which is JS/HTML only (and it works on everything from IE to Android and iPad).

What this means to me is that the battle between Flash and HTML5 is reaching its tipping point.

Yes, of course, HTML 5 has a few technical bottlenecks to overcome and standardize (this is why Grooveshark’s streaming is still Flash-based). But these changes are inevitable.

The more important argument is that companies, from startups to corporations (even Microsoft, amazingly) push constantly towards HTML 5.

From a technical viewpoint, an important catalyst of will be strongly embedding hardware acceleration in the rendering engine of main browsers (Chrome, IE, Mozilla).

But the Flash/HTML5 balance will truly tip when YouTube ¬†will start bringing video streaming only via HTML (it already delivers HTML video content to iStuff, as Cristian Pascu pointed out). When this happens (probably in the next 12 months or so), it’s all down hill for Adobe plug-in.

What do you think the tipping point will be ?

Bogdan Written by: