HTML5 could soon allow any kind of application to run inside a browser, enabling developers to build software that runs across virtually any platform, according to Microsoft's Paul Cotton, who also co-chairs the W3C HTML5 working group.
Cotton said in an interview with V3.co.uk that there was no reason why browser-based apps built with HTML5 should not match the experience of native Windows applications in the future, even for graphics-intensive software.
Such applications, being built around web standards, could run on any platform or system, whether a Windows PC, a Mac or a mobile device running Android or Apple's iOS, allowing developers to target a much wider market.
"Not only are the specs moving in that direction, but I think that some of the things browsers are putting into their environment are moving in that direction as well," Cotton said.
He cited products such as Microsoft's Office 365 suite, which already delivers "a pretty rich set of applications that work reasonably well", as an indication of what future business applications may look like.
However, Cotton said that there is a dearth of developer tools to build HTML5 applications, and that this would have to change before web apps can reach their full potential.
"I don't think something like Adobe Flash is going to go away soon. Until the marketplace gives us a rich set of HTML5 development tools, [developers] will continue to march to the place that gives them the best tooling," he said.
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