Apple bans Flash, Google open sources WebM and adds Flash to Android, and Adobe… well they even get their cross-compiler banned. So who’s going to win this big corporate chess game? It seems the users ultimately will thanks to HTML5 bringing the media together.
With HTML5 moving the detection and player into the browser, you can include all the media formats you have and whichever the browser supports (or user prefers?) will play. If the browser doesn’t have HTML5 then you can fallback to Flash.
Firefox, Chrome, and Opera are backers of WebM and will include the native players right in the browser. Apple already has H.264 and IE9 will include it as well as WebM but only if the decoder is installed.
Websites are going to want to appease as many users they can and as it looks they’ll only need three video formats to do so. Be aware this is not considering working out all the fine details that were skipped such as browsers not fully implementing the HTML5 spec or even an effective way to display ads whether pre-rolled or embedded.
On a related note, On2 recently released WebM capability in their Flix Engine this week (I couldn’t find any announcement…) so WebM is already here for Flix users.