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Flash's departure clears way for format stand-off

ITWorld - With the announcement that the Windows 8 Metro UI's browser would be plug-in (and therefore Flash) free, a major milestone on the road to HTML5 adoption was reached. But we're still not out of the woods yet.

Apple was the first major operating system company to really start the trip down this road, with Steve Job's insistence that iOS, the core OS for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad product lines, would no longer support Abobe's Flash, citing instability and battery life concerns.

Instead, Apple went with HTML5-based protocols for video and dynamic content. This week, we saw Microsoft joining suit, also promoting HTML5 standards.

At this point, advocates of software freedom should be happy that finally the major software makers are getting on board with the idea of standards for development and content delivery.

Except, unfortunately, that's not what's happening at all.

OSWALD The Open Source Law Weekly Digest editorial - Here's the problem: while Microsoft and Apple's browsers will be supporting the <video> tag to view content, they are only supporting the H. 264 video codec by default.  H. 264 is a proprietary format with patents controlled by a consortium of companies known as the MPEG Licensing Authority (MPEG LA).