Virgin America selects HTML over Flash, re-ignites the Flash vs. HTML debate

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Steve Jobs made headlines last month when he publicly dissed Adobe and its Flash technology and declared HTML 5 as the future of interactive media on the web. Though not as bold in its pronouncement, Virgin America has confirmed that it is switching to an all featured, interactive non-Flash website and has become the second high profile technology company to publicly dump Flash in lieu of HTML. According to Virgin CIO Ravi Simhambhatla, HTML will provide all the functionality Virgin’s website will need and will open up the company’s website to all mobile users regardless of platform and Flash support. Virgin is turning its sights towards mobile users as it seeks TSA approval for an electronic boarding pass that can be displayed on a mobile handset. If Virgin wants to grab the largest number of potential customers, it can not utilize Flash and risk excluding those users of non-Flash handsets, most notable of which is the iPhone. Not only is it interesting to see the HTML vs. Flash war play out in the technology industry, it is also interesting to see how Apple, through the success of the iPhone, is indirectly influencing the future of the Internet. But that was part of their plan all along.

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