Html 5

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Business Implications of HTML 5

Roger McNamee:

"I spent six months trying to convince entrepreneurs and investors that HTML 5 will change the world before I realized that my message was not getting through. So I spent the past year developing and deploying HTML 5 functionality on behalf of my band, Moonalice. One of our HTML 5 tools enables live HD video over 3G cellular with no buffer. Another enables fans of Moonalice to listen to any of 400 shows. Both applications are live on, but they only work on iOS. Why? Android does not have a standard HTML 5 implementation. Most people at Google don't know that.

I have been told that HTML 5 is "just another programming language." For content creators, however, HTML 5 offers the possibility of production values previously unheard of in the online world.

I am convinced that the pendulum of technology swings between commoditization and high production values. Before 1984, there were no production values in tech content: green ASCII text against a black background was the standard. Then Apple introduced the Mac, with Adobe's Postscript. Postscript enabled WYSIWYG, desktop publishing, Photoshop, PowerPoint, Acrobat, and increasingly high production values. From 1984 to 1998, content looked better every year. Then came Google and the commoditization of content. That lasted for ten years before Apple's app model enabled limited differentiation. HTML 5 will remove the limits.

Online content has depended on Adobe Flash for video and animation for more than a decade, but the limits of Flash are significant, especially in mobile. It was never designed for today's mobile use cases, much less the ones that are coming. Each instance of Flash on a webpage increases load times and instability. In mobile, the overhead is so great that that live video experience on 3G networks is exceptionally lame.

HTML 5 incorporates the functionality of Flash into the HTML standard. In mobile, the overhead is tiny in comparison to Flash. But that's just the beginning. As the tool set gets fleshed out, HTML 5 will transform the creation and presentation of content. HTML 5 will be a creative canvas unlike any in the past history of technology. Unlike the HTML 4 world we live in today, where every page looks similar and all can be compared in an index, HTML 5 will enable huge variation in production values, from the sepia of Kansas to the 3-D Technicolor of Oz. Before Google, higher production values translated into higher economic value, and I believe that will be the case again, only more so. In fact, the process has already begun with iPhone applications. Major League Baseball has done a brilliant job of translating production values into revenue. What they and others will be able to do with HTML 5 must be left to the imagination for the moment, because HTML 5 is still a very young language." (