Intel SVP: Yes, HTML5 is over-hyped but it will move mobile forward

Intel executives fuel the debate surrounding HTML5 on the second day of Intel Developer Forum.

SAN FRANCISCO -- The truth about computing today is that most consumers don't care about the hardware architecture of their devices, but rather about how to get tasks done, according to Intel senior vice president Renée James while speaking at Intel Developer Forum on Wednesday morning.

See also: Intel wants to redefine mobile personal computing via voice, gesture functionality

"Transparent computing is the core of how users view the experiences in compute today. It's about enabling what they want to do," said James, explaining that what users care about, for example, is finding a way for their iPad apps to work on their Samsung Galaxy phones.

James acknowledged that everyone in the technology wants to innovate, but the problem is when you dedicate most (or all) of your resources to a single product, you have less resources for porting and developing apps for multiple platforms.

With that in mind, here is a snapshot from a recent survey cited by Intel reflecting the current state of the mobile app market:

  • One-third of apps on all platforms generate $100-$500 per month
  • Average revenue generated by a single app is $1,200-$3,900 per month
  • 63 percent of all apps make than less $5,000 per month
  • Marketing accounts for 50 percent of production costs
  • 76 percent of users stop using an app after three months

Thus, Intel's response to and strategy for the mobile market centers around the concept of transparent computing. James explained that transparent computing means allowing experiences to cross seamlessly across different platforms, operating systems and architecture platforms.

James outlined three key elements to transparent computing:a cross-platform language, a flexible cloud infrastructure, and robust security.

But this adds fuel to a debate that got hotter this week about an existing cross-platform language: HTML5.

In response to comments made by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at TechCrunch Disrupt SF on Tuesday, James admitted, "We all agree it's been very over-hyped."

Nevertheless, James argued that it's "emerging as a credible solution for several technological challenges surrounding transparent computing."

"We believe its a real solution for where users want to go, and we believe users will demand we go there as an industry," James added.

To defend this, Intel cites that 40 percent of app developers are using HTML5, while another 40 percent are planning to use HTML5.

Intel is preparing to release several HTML5-focused solutions for developers over the next few quarters. Starting today, James cited River Trail parallel extensions for JavaScript. The plug-in developed in partnership with Mozilla will be rolling out this week. It will become native in Firefox browsers to bring parallel computing for web apps in 2013.

Intel also unveiled the Intel Developer Zone, designed to promote cross-platform development while enhancing user experiences and growing business opportunities.

The global online portal includes a central repository with resources intended to enable developers from development through distribution, including marketing programs, online opportunities to promote work within Intel and the app community.

Intel will be adding an HTML5-focused developer zone in Q4 this year, which is promised to guide developers through actual deployments of HTML5 apps on iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Tizen.

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