Friday, April 30, 2010

Is Microsoft working on HTML5 design tools?

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post asking where the tools are that will allow mere mortals to write HTML5 that works like Adobe's Flash. Adobe has Dreamweaver, but it has a strong incentive to keep developers and users from migrating from Flash to HTML5. Microsoft has the Expression suite, but it also has Silverlight, so I thought that it wouldn't take up the challenge, either.

Yesterday, however, a Microsoft executive went on the record stating, and I quote, "The future of the Web is HTML5." That quote came from Dean Hachamovitch, Microsoft's General Manager for Internet Explorer, and although he was writing about web video, his comments can easily be seen as extending beyond just video.

It would make a lot of sense for Microsoft to go "all out" for HTML5 support, not just in IE but in its Expression Studio authoring tools as well. Silverlight has miniscule market share compared to Flash, so Microsoft could cannibalize Silverlight without hurting its revenues. Further, by making Expression Web a better HTML5 graphical development tool than Dreamweaver, it could steal market share from both Dreamweaver and Flash.

Adobe is vulnerable, and no one smells blood in the water better than Microsoft. Expression Studio 4 could be Microsoft's opportunity to leapfrog at least some components in Adobe's Creative Suite 5. Microsoft can offer Silverlight for those developers who want it, and to provide capabilities that won't be implemented in HTML5 for some time, but it doesn't need to protect Silverlight the same way that Adobe needs to protect Flash.
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