Die legacy, die!02 Feb 2010
‘Tis the season to drive a stake through the heart of old technology apparently. Steve Jobs appears to be taking especial glee in killing off Flash as a video format. And Google is doing their damnedest to run IE6 out of town. It takes a certain amount of self-confidence in yourself to pit your unstoppable force against the immovable object of an entrenched de facto standard, but both Apple and Google seemed positioned to carry it off.
In the case of Google, the sheer number of alternatives, ease of access to those alternatives, and popularity of their products will be enough to pry the final population of IE6 users out of their millennial stupor.
For Jobs, the task requires more balls (right now, his crown jewel iPhone is showing lots of holes in web pages where Flash content should be), but is slightly easier, because he doesn’t have convince millions of users to change their software, he only has to convince a handful of web sites to add an HTML5 option. And the HTML5 standard on video embedding is just close enough to “ready” that those sites (YouTube, vimeo, etc) will begin providing HTML5-based alternatives to browsers that can support them (like, the iPad, and Safari, and the iPhone).
I wish godspeed to both Apple and Google in their endeavors, since both Flash video and IE6 can’t hit the scrapheap soon enough, in my opinion.