Man, it sure is a tough week to be a Flash advocate. Hot on the heels of Steve Jobs’ position paper highlighting all of Flash’s shortcomings, Dean Hachamovitch, Microsoft’s General Manager of Internet Explorer, explained that HTML 5 Video is the future of the web and that IE 9 will only support video playback of content encoded in H.264 video.
H.264 is an industry standard, with broad and strong hardware support. Because of this standardization, you can easily take what you record on a typical consumer video camera, put it on the web, and have it play in a web browser on any operating system or device with H.264 support (e.g. a PC with Windows 7). Recently, we publicly showed IE9 playing H.264-encoded video from YouTube. You can read about the benefits of hardware acceleration here, or see an example of the benefits at the 26:35 mark here. For all these reasons, we’re focusing our HTML5 video support on H.264.
Regarding Flash, Hachamovitch capitulates that it’s riddled with reliability, security, and performance issues, but notes that Microsoft will continue to work with Adobe to ensure as robust a user experience with Flash as possible.
Enjoy it while it lasts.