Intel commits to “fabulous” HTML5

Intel has affirmed its commitment to HTML5 as the engine for “transparent computing” – a vision more commonly expressed as “write once, run anywhere”.

The announcement comes fewer than 24 hours after Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg described the company’s investment in HTML5 over native mobile applications as “the biggest mistake we made”.

Intel’s senior vice president Renée James, speaking at the opening keynote of the second day of the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, admitted that the technology had been “overhyped”, and had “struggled”, but insisted that it could not only help developers target multiple platforms, but also delivered a real benefit to users.

“It’s a real solution for where users want to go, and where users demand that we go as an industry,” she declared. “People want iPad apps to work on their Galaxy phone, and their Ultrabook.”

People want iPad apps to work on their Galaxy phone, and their Ultrabook

To illustrate the point, two HTML5-based applications were shown – a travel app and a language-learning environment – both of which used a combination of HTML5 and cloud resources to run all but identically on Window 8 and iOS.

James denied that Intel’s embrace of cross-platform apps was a climb-down from previous efforts to encourage mobile developers to standardise on the Intel architecture.

“We are very supportive of native development on our platform,” she assured IDF delegates. “Android works very high-performantly on Intel architecture. We just think that HTML5 is a fabulous technology that gives an opportunity for moving experiences between different platforms, and we know that’s something users want.”

James promised the release of several new extensions and tools for HTML5 “in the next few quarters, and into next year,” following last year’s release of “River Trail” parallelism extensions for JavaScript, designed to help web applications take full advantage of available hardware.

She also announced the imminent launch of a new online “Developer Zone”, a central resource providing SDKs, tools and training to help developers write platform-agnostic HTML5 apps.

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