Is The HTML5 Revolution Here?

Anthony Malakian, US Editor, WatersTechnology

In April 2013, Netflix announced that it would stop using Microsoft Silverlight to stream video content to users. The reason was that Microsoft had announced that it was ending support of Silverlight in 2021.

Even with its flaws, Silverlight had proven itself to be an effective web-deployment tool. At the same time, HTML5 was building itself up as the "latest and greatest". So rather than wait a few years before announcing a change from Silverlight, Netflix decided to focus its development attention on HTML5. Simple future proofing.

Earlier this week I spoke with Marshall Saffer, COO at data warehousing provider MIK Fund Solutions, who said that just like Netflix, MIK is now focusing its attention toward migrating many of its user interfaces from Silverlight to HTML5.

"Since Microsoft announced it would kill Silverlight, we had to adapt," Saffer says. "We've really embraced HTML5 on a technology front, especially to start doing a lot of web delivery across mobile devices."

When it comes to developing mobile apps, HTML5 provides a device-neutral solution and it can deliver real-time information. Prior to its fifth iteration, HTML was only good for static reporting, Saffer says. As a result, portfolio managers would have to constantly hit "refresh", in addition to the fact that they would have to develop different apps for different devices. From a mobile strategy perspective, it took a lot of time and expense.

Now, HTML5 offers PMs the opportunity to deliver real-time tick data, P&L, and exposure and performance updates.

When I spoke with AIG CTO Mary Kotch for our February cover story, she said that in 2014 her team will evaluate HTML5 to streamline both direct-to-broker and direct-to-consumer interfaces. 

Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Merrill Lynch have been working with HTML5 for web deployments. Caplin Systems, smartTrade and Pershing, among others, are developing HTML5-based solutions, too.

It would appear that 2014 and '15 will be all about HTML5. Are you working on something interesting using HTML5? Shoot me an email ( or give me a call (646-490-3973).

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