Adobe just can't catch a break. On the heels of Steve Jobs' open letter about the problems with Flash comes Microsoft's Dean Hachamovitch, general manager for Internet Explorer, to say that Microsoft will throw its considerable weight behind H.264 and HTML5.
Writing in his blog, Dean says;
"The future of the web is HTML5. Microsoft is deeply engaged in the HTML5 process with the W3C. HTML5 will be very important in advancing rich, interactive web applications and site design. The HTML5 specification describes video support without specifying a particular video format. We think H.264 is an excellent format. In its HTML5 support, IE9 will support playback of H.264 video only."
H.264 is the video format Apple has been supporting, both in its products and for web sites using video content. The advantage of H.264 is that no player or codec needs to be downloaded and installed in the browser. That means you can go to any HTML5-based web site and not worry whether you have the correct plug-ins installed.
Later in his blog, Dean concurred with Steve Jobs: "Flash does have some issues, particularly around reliability, security, and performance."
Want to know what all the fuss is about HTML5 and the ability to play back videos? You can see a nice demonstration of a web site using HTML5 video playback. Notice you didn't need to download a player or plug-in? The site also lists some of the capabilities of its HTML5 video player.
Oh, and the video, "Dartmoor" by James Watson, is worth the peek on its own, whether you're familiar with HTML5 or not.