A journey of a thousand miles will start with a single step. That's how Google
Starting this week, the eyeball magnet known as YouTube has a new way of showing you videos: HTML5. That's the next-generation standards specification for the code that makes up a website, and it comes with new features like simple video support. Using HTML5 code means that your Apple
Working around the need for Adobe
But it could be the beginning of the end for Adobe's hitherto dominant media platform. Microsoft
HTML5 is still in early draft stages, but it could become a semi-official recommendation from Internet standards body the World Wide Web Consortium as soon as 2012. Other than fancy audio and video player features, the new standards also provide all-new features like local data storage (handy for mobile devices and email applications, for example) and geolocation (again, great for mobile browsers like the one on your phone). Also, you know those addictive little games you see all over Facebook? The HTML5 Canvas code may soon replace Flash in all of those, too.
When every browser can play video without Flash, Adobe will lose much of the benefit from buying Flash developer Macromedia for $3.5 billion in freshly issued stock nearly five years ago. Google isn't out to kill Adobe, but collateral damage is to be expected in any revolution.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Google and Netflix, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. Apple, Adobe Systems, and Netflix are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.