AppleInsider | Hulu to make videos available on iPad without Flash - rumor:

'The TV shows on Hulu would be perfect on the iPad. There is just one hitch: the iPad doesn’t support Flash, and all of Hulu’s videos currently run inside a Flash player,' states TechCrunch

'But that could change by the time the iPad launches in March. One rumor I’ve heard from an industry insider is that Hulu is working on an iPad-friendly version of its site that should be ready by the time the iPad hits the market,' continues TechCrunch's Erick Schonfeld.

If there's one thing Apple's figured out, it's how to leverage the 3-10% of folks that use Macs to push new standards over the tipping point. The iMac all but killed the PS/2-serial port mismash that came before it. USB was happening, but it wasn't until the iMac supported only USB (and at the same time merged the Apple peripheral market with WinPC) that USB became the dominant connection tech.

Compare to Apple and Firewire, for which Apple collected license fees for a while. Firewire didn't go nearly so well as USB because firewire was an add-on, not a go-for-broke replacement for USB. USB 2.0 became so much more dominant that Jobs himself was eating his Firewire a few years after its introduction. Honestly, to make Firewire work, Jobs probably should have killed USB and gone 100% Bluetooth for peripherals, but Bluetooth wasn't ready for the weight then, and it's not now.

Now, the iPad is killing Adobe. I'm not sure what Jobs has against Flash other than it's not something Apple controls. But he is killing it. HTML 5 video support in Firefox is a better solution, imo, than closed Flash plugins. It's, in a sense, a level less complicated. Once codec compression, speed, and resources are up, up, and down, respectively, to Flash levels, why not use HTML 5?

The iPad helps make that "why not" an easier question to answer. If I'm worried about paying licensing for encoding and having end users have the proper Flash plugin installed, now I have a good excuse (aka, "business plan") to develop an alternative: a new platform that only supports the alternative that helps me hedge my bets against Flash. I can develop for HTML 5, pull an id and Quake 3 (where they released a test version of their latest game on Mac first) with the iPad to help bug test a relatively stable platform, and be ready to roll things out if Adobe doesn't give me a sweater deal.

Reminds me a lot of AOL and Mozilla. At one point, AOL's licensing deal with Microsoft over using IE as the browser engine in AOL's client was coming due. AOL actually released a version of AOL based on Mozilla for the Mac, showing Microsoft that they didn't really need IE. MS no longer had AOL over a barrel, and a licensing deal was worked out. And b/c of this, in large part, we now have Firefox. AOL's bet played out perfectly for us, though perhaps not so well for them.

HTML 5 video is the same move all over again. s/Microsoft/Adobe. s/AOL/[Hulu|YouTube]

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