HTML5: Strategic Trojan horse for MS Office

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It looks more and more like Microsoft is playing a clever game with its support for HTML5 and other Web standards. And when I say "clever," some might say "anti-competitive." We've been here before, and my spidey senses are tingling in The Long View...

First Microsoft promotes HTML5 -- not Silverlight -- as the way to write Windows 8 apps for its new "Modern Shell"; then Adobe launches an HTML5 authoring tool, in almost direct conflict with its own Flash. Who's next to knife the baby with Web standards? Oddly enough, it looks like it's going to be Microsoft again. A recent job advertisement strongly indicates that the next version of MS Office will use Web standards as the mechanism for addins and extensions --


plus Visual BASIC for Applications (VBA) or Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO). As Mary Jo Foley points out:

HTML5 and JavaScript also are going to be key to...extend[ing] the Microsoft Office platform with custom code and third-party add-on[s]. ... And it seems the tools will target not just Office, but also Office 365.
[It doesn't] sound as if Microsoft is retiring VBA, VSTO or any other existing...programmability tools in the near term. ... Microsoft isn’t expected to simply toss out .Net and Silverlight. ... There’s little question, though, that the new emphasis is definitely on develop new apps and services for...Windows and Office.

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