The movement away from using Flash in both internal and external content by businesses has been slowed by one important factor: This language has been seen as the primary distribution method for rich multimedia such as audio and video. Viewers respond well to messages conveyed through more than text and static images, and a well-placed video clip or audio file can transform an informational document, giving it a compelling new purpose and improving its appeal.
This attachment to multimedia means businesses were waiting for a viable alternative way to send out their multimedia communications - and it appears they have received one in the form of HTML5. The rise of this language and its improvement over time have cleared the stage for the replacement of Flash at last.
"There is an urgency to adopt HTML5 and begin the journey away from Flash."
HTML5 makes its move
While it's possible to extrapolate the future and see what is coming down the pipeline, the day-to-day realities of a business must take precedence. To commit to Flash to HTML5 conversion, organizations must be sure the latter technology is ready for prime time. Fortunately, it appears the change has occurred. A recent Online Video piece delved into the current state of HTML5 video based on facts from a report prepared by JW Player. The source noted that the occasion for the data's release is the fifth anniversary of the iPad, one of the devices that helped make Flash less relevant to content creators.
Online Video explained there is now a codec that works across the top browser options - H.264. This means there is no longer a sense of fragmentation within the HTML5 video sector, with companies forced to create versions that will work on older browsers. The current hold-outs are Opera and Internet Explorer 8 but fortunately, these are receding options with small shares of the market. Microsoft is even in the process of phasing out the Internet Explorer branding altogether, planning an efficient new browser to go along with the long-awaited launch of Windows 10.
The news source explained that though there are still some differences between the features supported by different browsers, there is an urgency to adopt HTML5 and begin the journey away from Flash. The main reason goes back to the iPad and its fellow Apple devices. As this hardware does not support Flash, spreading content across the mobile and desktop environments means either creating two versions or moving into HTML5. The remaining differences between operating systems are insignificant compared to the fact that today's leading mobile devices eschew Flash altogether.
Firefox joins the crowd
VentureBeat reported that the most recent version of Mozilla Firefox, 37, supports improved performance for YouTube videos in HTML5 mode. The streaming service's switch away from Flash is a major landmark in the quest to make HTML5 the video content standard for the whole Internet, due to the massive volume and popularity of its video library. As long as Flash was the default player for YouTube, it had a hold on multimedia distribution in some capacity. As browsers have become more compatible with HTML5 - Firefox actually being considered one of the slower implementers - this impression has faded.