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HTML5 Gaining Momentum Among Users


There’s little doubt that HTML5 is picking up steam in terms of popularity, and it got another notch on its belt when Hearst Magazines announced that it would begin integrating the platform on a majority of its websites. Mark Weinberg, VP of programming and product strategy for Hearst Digital Media, confirmed the plans recently, saying that the company aims to complete the HTML5 transitions during the fourth quarter of this year and moving into 2012.

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By: wubayou
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September 21, 2011

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There’s little doubt that HTML5 is picking up steam in terms of popularity, and it got another notch on its belt when Hearst Magazines announced that it would begin integrating the platform on a majority of its websites. Mark Weinberg, VP of programming and product strategy for Hearst Digital Media, confirmed the plans recently, saying that the company aims to complete the HTML5 transitions during the fourth quarter of this year and moving into 2012.

Hearst’s guinea pig in the HTML5 experiment is GoodHousekeeping.com.  The site has finally been enhanced with HTML5 and can be enjoyed by visitors using a wide variety of platforms, such as traditional browsers, smartphones, and tablets.  Although it’s only the beginning for Hearst, it’s a far cry from when GoodHousekeeping.com referred to as one of the worst magazine websites around.

Weinberg discussed the new and improved Good Housekeeping site, as well as what it means for Hearst in the future: “This project forms the basis for the kind of site structure that we expect to roll out to the rest of the network over the next six to 18 months.  We have a number of sites that we’re in the process of redesigning and relaunching now and they will be relaunched fundamentally on the same kind of code base of HTML5 and they will designed to be multi-platform. The kind of innovations we’ve baked into the Good Housekeeping relaunch will drive where we go with the rest of the network sites.”

Weinberg noted that GoodHousekeeping.com was the first site of Hearst’s portfolio to receive the HTML5 enhancement primarily because it needed it the most.  The site has been retooled completely to offer visitors several new features, some of which can be attributed to HTML5 directly.  One such feature is the new rotator that resides on the home page.  Eric Gillin, group director at Hearst, said: “This slide show or rotator is touch enabled, depending on the device you’re using, and that’s one of the things that’s wonderful with HTML5.  We can use HTML5 to have it work the way we would like it to work depending on the device the reader has.”  The rotator is expected to be implemented on Hearst’s other sites as well.

The GoodHousekeeping.com project has laid the groundwork for Hearst to convert its vast portfolio, as the company now has code bases, formats, and templates that can be used into the future.  Weinberg added: “The site is based on HTML5 which is more comprehensively used in this site than practically any other media site that we know of.  This site has boldly gone into a design that is based on HTML5—this creates for us for the first time a site that is fully multi-platform.”

For more on this topic, visit http://www.foliomag.com/2011/hearst-convert-all-sites-html5

As Flash Loses Steam, HTML5 Gains Momentum

The increasing popularity of HTML5 hasn’t exactly been welcome news to Adobe’s Flash platform.  Unfortunately for Adobe, its beloved platform took another hit recently, as Microsoft announced that its Windows 8 Metro user interface would not support Flash, choosing to opt for HTML5 instead. 

Dean Hachamovitch, Internet Explorer team leader at Microsoft, offered several reasons as to why HTML5 offers a better solution for Windows 8 Metro UI.  He explained that running Flash can compromise battery life, and also tends to present issues in the realm consumer privacy, reliability, and security.  “Providing compatibility with legacy plug-in technologies would detract from, rather than improve, the consumer experience of browsing in the Metro style UI,” Hachamovitch noted in a blog post. 

Microsoft’s recent announcement certainly does not make it alone in its preference, as Apple has denied Flash support on its devices for many of the same aforementioned reasons.  Not surprisingly, Adobe countered the announcement in a statement to Wired.com, “We expect Windows desktop to continue to be extremely popular for years to come and that it will support Flash just fine, including rich web-based games and premium videos that require Flash.”

Adobe’s answer may be fine for the desktop environment, but Flash’s main obstacle comes from the ever-growing shift towards a mobile market.  As stated, Apple has not supported Flash on its mobile devices, and even began denying pre-installed support with shipments of the 2010 MacBook Air.  When you consider the fact that eliminating Flash gave the Air an additional two hours of battery life, it’s hard to fault Apple for its decision. 

Google’s Android-based smartphones have supported Flash, but the results have not been extremely positive, as many believe that performance has been sub-par.  Michael Novak, a developer behind the messaging app GroupMe, said: “I actually find Flash on Android to be quite cumbersome.  I would like to see Android move away from Flash support and adopt more HTML5 video options. The large run-time required by Flash is disappointing.”

Beyond news from Microsoft and complaints about negative performance, statistics also show a rather gloomy future for Flash.  Numbers revealed in March of this year showed that 63 percent of web video was HTML5 compatible, and that number will only increase as more and more companies make the decision to leave Flash in the dust.

For more on this topic, visit http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/09/no-flash-windows-8-metro/


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