Forrester: Bump the HTML5 effort; this isn't 2011 anymore

Forrester: Bump the HTML5 effort; this isn't 2011 anymore

Summary: We're not living in 2011 anymore. This is 2012, where HTML5 can spread its wings and stretch out, thinks Forrester.


Forrester is putting its foot down: 'Enough is enough.' With close to 75 percent of all Web browsers in North America compatible with HTML5, it's about time we gave up our Flash habit.

From Q2 2011 to Q2 2012, Forrester said it saw a jump from 57 percent to 75 percent in HTML5 browser pentration, rising from around half of all browsers to now three-quarters compatible with the standard.


Market research firm Forrester says the latest Web standard -- HTML5 -- should be embraced into the bosom of business and enterprise companies, and Flash and other plug-ins should be left out to pasture.

HTML5 uses traditional Web-based coding languages, including CSS3 and JavaScript -- used by not only desktops and tablets, but smartphones also -- and replaces much of the functionality in plug-ins, such as Adobe Flash, Microsoft's Silverlight, and Apple's QuickTime. (Not always, but often.)

"The tide is turning," said Forrester's Peter Sheldon. "Leading online brands, including Apple, Best Buy, Four Seasons Hotels, and Rue La La to name a few, are now putting the features of HTML5 to use on their desktop sites."

Last time you visited, did you notice anything different? Try right-clicking on that video of the new iPad, and you may (or may not be) surprised to see that the video is not Flash, Silverlight, or even Apple's own QuickTime for that matter.

It's a HTML5 video. Magical.

But the trouble faced by developers is the fragmented support by browsers on the market.

Internet Explorer remains at the top of the market share rankings, though only the latest unreleased version of Microsoft's browser fully supports HTML5 at 319 points on the compatibility chart, compared to Internet Explorer 9 which stands at a meager 138 points

Compare this to: IE 6 ranks at just 26, Mozilla's Firefox 14 stands at 345 points, and Google's latest release of Chrome 21 at 437. 

One of the reasons so many stick with Internet Explorer 6 is because it's compatible with existing Web applications.

Back in the day, Windows XP coupled with Internet Explorer and Flash ran most Web applications necessary for the usual CRM, ERP and project management tools. In many cases, apps still heavily rely on Flash for graph-building and overall grace and prettiness. 

As of July, Internet Explorer 6's market share stood at 6.0 percent of the overall browser market, according to figures supplied by Net Applications.

But because HTML5 isn't "new," in that it uses newer versions of older technologies, rollout of such Flash replacements can be issued incrementally in an investment pitch that over time will keep ahead of the curve. 

The age old dilemma remains: either invest in developing new HTML5 applications, and throw in new hardware and software at the same time, or remain on legacy systems and keep the status quo.

Many are opting for the latter, but it's probably better to stay ahead of the curve rather than falling behind to the point where you can't catch up.

Topics: IT Priorities, Apps, Browser, Enterprise 2.0

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  • Upgrade your browsers!

    I just cannot believe that people dont update their browsers. It's those people that should be left out to pasture.
    • If "it just works", then so be it

      And that includes... IE8...
  • True

    Meanwhile, Microsoft supports pure HTML5 apps in their new tablet OS, Windows 8.

    Apple and Google? Not so much. They prefer their own proprietary mobile OSs, iOS and Android, which basically means we all have to build every app at least twice.
    Tim Acheson
    • Present Tense Being Used For Vapourware

      Truth in marketing, much?
    • Untrue

      True, Apple does only allow vetted apps, and they must be "native". But it is false to assume you must "build every app at least twice". You can write your HTML5/CSS3 app once, and use PhoneGap (merely one of several good options) to package it in native wrappers for multiple platforms, including iOS and Android.
      • When Objective-C gets proper memory handling and other 21st century

        features, wake me. :)

        Even Java, thanks to JVM enhancements (and memory handling), threatens the iPhone in terms of speed. A quick web search helps show examples... and others that would counter those...
    • Fragmenting - why should any of them be believed?

      Been there, done that, since the dawn of time. If previous versions of HTML and CSS were warped to fit individual companies' desired, why wouldn't HTML5 be? Because somebody made puppy dog eyes and promised??

      Open standards and being a community isn't as profitable than quietly manipulating the market to serve one's own desires.

      There's little money in webpage design, which is probably why it's easier to create a website nowadays. And it takes fairly little to support yesterday's ye old, non-open garbage like IE8.

      Still, Flash and Java (and others) were created to resolve the fragmentation issue. Granted, those are buggy and waste battery life. (Just don't admit your platform's own games and other fluff apps can do the same thing just as well... yes, I'm looking at Apple - again... but, no, I'm not saying Flash was perfect, there were issues and still are... maybe Adobe can create something new - Macromedia created Flash and Adobe won a lawsuit and took the property... then did nothing positive with it until they were forced to, probably because there was no financial incentive in doing so... same process, rinse, repeat, change players, rinse, repeat...)
  • Cost ...?

    I am not a web developer, but I am guessing there is some level of cost associated with scraping your old Flash development tools and Server environment built around Flash and then adopting what is necessary to support HTML5. An example of this is my Favorite Flash site (Comedy Central). They have Flash support (for now at least), but when you hit the site from a mobile device (at least from Android browser not setup to request Desktop sites) you get the mobile site which has only a very small amount of content available (no full episodes, only some video clips which have been deemed poplular I guess). The site then tells you to go to iTunes to download (I am guessing for a cost ?) the Full Episodes (something I am not likely to pay for. I sit through the Commericials and that is enough for me).
    Currently I can get around this by using a PC with Flash or using the correct combination of Flash and Android (built in Android Browser or Opera Mobile instead of the new Chrome Beta which doesn't support Flash). It seems Adobe has made the decision to try and push people away from Flash (presumably to HTML5 built using Flash Dev tools), but I am curious if Adobe has really partnered with previous large Flash sites/shops to make that transition easy enough ?
    • Adobe is abandoning it in the mobile paradigm

      But Adobe does seem to continue putting out desktop patches and upgrades...

      As the mobile paradigm continues to explode, Flash will eventually go away. Pros and cons, but if Adobe puts out a replacement tool, and don't forget they acquired Macromedia's Flash via a lawsuit, maybe Adobe can build the new tool from the ground up and make it more reliable...

      Of course, with subscription plans, that won't be an incentive for many either...especially Adobe, or anyone who uses a licensing plan, sits back to reel in the cash, and feels no need to do any more work because the customer has the company right where the company wants the customer...
  • ????

    No. They are not a HTML5 video on

    You'll need QuickTime to see them, which is just as bad (if not as worse) as Flash given the plug-in nature and all these security exploits in the past.

    Which also highlight the current problem of HTML5 video - There is no standard codec for HTML5 yet.
    • Agreed

      Quicktime has always sucked... it could be worse... but we'd be blamed by holding it wrong, even if he knew beforehand what was truly wrong...
  • mozilla

    everyone talks about how amazing HTML5 is going to be, but almost no one actually implements it. so kudos to mozilla for being seemingly the only one really pushing hard for adoption of HTML5 as a real standard.