Given all the hype on HTML5 , it's quite easy to think of it as the next standard that can serve the needs of everyone given any device or platform. However, what most people fail to study and understand is that there are still quite a lot of issues that need to be resolved before HTML5 properly becomes a standard. Developing your site using HTML5 would mean that your site will be viewable by an additional group of people, but at the same time, you're also taking away the chance from another group.
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I'm pretty sure that any web developer will agree that one of the biggest problems that one would encounter in making a site is making sure that it works on Internet Explorer. The latest version of Internet Explorer as of this article's time of writing is IE9 with IE10 undergoing beta. There are still however a lot of people using IE versions ranging from 6-8, especially that IE9 will only work with Windows Vista and newer Windows Operating Systems. And this is currently the biggest roadblock for HTML5.
To illustrate, the statistics from w3schools show that IE still has roughly 21% of the market share for browser usage. Whilst the statistics also from w3schools show that roughly 33% of PCs are still using XP, meaning they can only go up until IE8. What this means is that there is still a sizeable number of people using IE versions 6-8, and that the site that you would be doing in HTML5 would most likely not work properly when these people go to it.
Now, why won't the HTML5 work properly for these people? It's because IE6-8 still doesn't have proper support for HTML5. One can check html5test to see how compatible the browsers are to HTML5. The most compatible browser is Google Chrome 14.0.835 with a score of 340. The other browsers also have good compatibility except for IE9 and lower versions of IE. IE9 has a compatibility score of 141, IE8 has 41, IE7 has 26, and IE6 has 25.
However, this doesn't mean that all sites written in HTML5 will not work. It's probably best to check the supported tags with IE8 and only use those tags to make sure that it's at least compatible with IE8.
This will probably be the biggest roadblock that HTML5 needs to overcome. Understand however that this does not mean that HTML5 will not succeed, it simply means that HTML5 will take some time before it truly becomes a standard. That time will come once more people convert to a newer version of IE or to another browser that has better compatibility. Give HTML5 at least 2 years and it really might be the new standard that all developers will embrace.
statowl - IE usage per version
www.html5test.com - for browser compatibility statistics
www.w3schools.com - for browser usage statistics
www.statowl.com - for IE usage per version