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HTML 5 and the future of the web

Ever since Apple released the iPad product earlier this year HTML 5 has been thrust into the limelight as the "next big thing" for the web.  Essentially it is an expansion of HTML 4, the current markup language, that adds features such as embedded video playback, drag and drop, support for vector graphics (SVG), and much more.  So will HTML 5 be the next big thing?

In all honesty, not likely.  Web developers and application programmers already have a robust suite of tools and frameworks available for doing all these things, such as Flash and JavaScript, that are well established.  Another issue with HTML 5 is older browsers don't support it.  Internet Explorer 6 and 7, which still make up a very large part of the browser market, have no support for HTML 5.  Until the average web browser support HTML 5 developers can't start leveraging it.  If we have learned anything from Internet Explorer's reign as the long term markershare champion in web browsers it's that it takes a LONG time to cycle out old versions.  IE6 was released in 2001 and still has a  5% to 10% market share according to sites such as w3 schools.com.

HTML 5 should make it easier for your average developer to integrate video and advanced features but we won't see an impact for a while.  If you hire a professional development company there is no reason you can't offer a highly interactive site with rich media content today, using standard tools supported on a wide variety of platforms.

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