Another new feature is SVG effects for HTML, including masking, filtering and clipping. The point I made in the review is that this is a shot at Adobe as well as Microsoft. Although it is a long way from a viable alternative to Flash for now, the direction is clear.
That does not mean it will succeed. On the other hand, if Apple, Google and Mozilla pull together in making browser standards rich enough not to need plug-ins for most of the scenarios where Flash is used today, this could disrupt Flash momentum.
What about IE? That’s the big question. Here’s a few questions:
1. Will Microsoft implement these standards or hold back, arguing that Silverlight makes them unnecessary?
2. Will IE retain its market dominance – still over 65% last time I looked, even though it is losing among developers and influencers?
This article by Ryan Paul from last year discusses the issue. He says, why shouldn’t Adobe embrace HTML 5.0 rather than fighting it:
Although Canvas arguably competes with Adobe’s Flash plugin in a certain set of use cases, it’s worth noting that Adobe doesn’t generate revenue from the Flash plugin itself. Adobe cashes in on Flash by selling its powerful authoring tools, which the company could easily extend to support standards-based web technologies.
It’s a fair point; but given the commercial advantages of owning the platform, as opposed to being just another tools vendor, I doubt Adobe would make this shift unless it saw no realistic alternative. Even fully open-sourcing the Flash runtime would be less risky.