Microsoft joins Apple in criticism of Flash; says IE9 will support only H.264

As if Apple's very public fight with Adobe over Flash wasn't enough, the other shoe dropped this week when Microsoft in its IEBlog let it be known that it, too, believed the H.264 codec was the right choice for web, and implied Flash as a platform had several major issues.

"The future of the web is HTML5," wrote Dean Hachamovitch, GM of Microsoft's Internet Explorer. "In its HTML5 support, IE9 will support playback of H.264 video only."

He also reiterated some of the concerns Apple CEO Steve Jobs listed in his scathing critique of Flash on Thursday, writing, "Flash does have some issues, particularly around reliability, security, and performance. "

Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen in a Wall Street Journal interview called Job's allegations about Flash's shortcomings a "smoke screen" that was created by Apple. That's a tougher stance to stick with now that Microsoft has weighed in.

For its part, the Microsoft reveal wasn't as stark as was Apple's; for one thing, Hachamovitch did throw Adobe a bone, saying, "Today, video on the web is predominantly Flash-based... the ease of accessing video using just a browser on a particular website without using Flash is a challenge for typical consumers."

And, he said, "Flash remains an important part of delivering a good consumer experience on today's web."

Flash may be a player for "today's web" perhaps; but tomorrow's?

For more:
- see this IEBlog post
- see this Reuters article

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