Finally! Flash supports H.264 video!
I think it’s safe to say that everyone building web apps said “wtf?!” when Flash 9 shipped without H.264 support, and we all said “WTF!?” when Microsoft shipped Silverlight without it, too. I mean, come on! We finally have an industry standard that’s efficient, used basically everywhere but on web pages, and neither the leader (Flash) nor the upstart (Silverlight) thought to include support, opting for expensive proprietary encoding formats instead? Talk about dumb.
Silverlight, especially, is a head-scratcher. Silverlight 1.0 is focused almost entirely on video, including HD, and clearly gunning for Flash. So why wouldn’t they go right for Flash’s big Achilles heel – no H.264 support?
Oh well – that opportunity is now lost, and I believe this basically nails Silverlight 1.0’s coffin shut. (The bad Mac installation process had nearly done this for us already) Sad, because I had high hopes for how beneficial strong competition would be for those of us building Rich Internet Apps.
Adobe deserves lots of kudos for actually listening to their customers and doing what we want. Honestly, I never thought this day would come. Finally, we can all encode video without expensive closed-source Windows-only encoders. You can’t imagine how limiting that is unless you’re in the trenches, but mark my words:
You’re going to see a massive boom in the online video space shortly. You ain’t seen nothing yet.