Microsoft's Take On Flash: HTML5 Is The Future, But We'll Support Adobe

The debate surrounding Adobe's Flash has never been hotter, and as the he-said-she-said rages on, more and more companies are stepping forward to make public their own take. Apple's CEO Steve Jobs got things started by publicly slamming Flash, and then Adobe's CEO stepped up to insist that the future of Web technology was Flash. Now, Microsoft is stepping in to give their two cents as well.

Dean Hachamovitch, the general manager of Internet Explorer, posted a new writeup this weekend claiming to share Microsoft's point of view on the whole Flash/No-Flash debate. Their take is pretty clear: "The future of the web is HTML5," he says, with Microsoft being deeply engaged in the HTML5 process with the W3C. He also stated that "HTML5 will be very important in advancing rich, interactive web applications and site design," as it "describes video support without specifying a particular video format." Microsoft also thinks that "H.264 is an excellent format; in its HTML5 support, IE9 will support playback of H.264 video only."

The response shouldn't be surprising. Microsoft has no vested interest in Flash, and they're basically supporting what they feel helps them the most. But that said, we really appreciate Microsoft's final stance on the matter, which is one that lowers their pride and agrees to work with industry leaders to make things better with consumers. This action is one that Steve Jobs refuses to take, and it's frankly childish. Listen to Microsoft's final take:

"Today, video on the web is predominantly Flash-based. While video may be available in other formats, the ease of accessing video using just a browser on a particular website without using Flash is a challenge for typical consumers. Flash does have some issues, particularly around reliability, security, and performance. We work closely with engineers at Adobe, sharing information about the issues we know of in ongoing technical discussions. Despite these issues, Flash remains an important part of delivering a good consumer experience on today’s web."

Now that's some level-headed analysis.