Steve Jobs was right: YouTube is finally HTML5-first.

YouTube is finally HTML5 first. Photo: VentureBeat

Let’s flash back to April 2010.

That was the month that Steve Jobs penned his famous “Thoughts on Flash” memo, in which he soundly rejected any and all reasons for Apple to adopt Flash on the iOS operating system.

Jobs famously said that Flash was too battery-hungry, too unreliable, too insecure, too slow and too closed to be a wise platform for the mobile-first developers of then-tomorrow. And people scoffed at the time.

But who’s laughing now?

Today, Google announced that YouTube is finally ditching Flash for HTML5 video by default.

“Other content providers like Netflix and Vimeo, as well as companies like Microsoft and Apple have embraced HTML5 and been key contributors to its success,” said Google, pointing out the obvious: Flash content has been on the decline for years.

Why? It’s pretty obvious. Flash content requires a native plugin, while HTML5 runs on pretty much any system out there. And anecdotally? Flash is a complete resource hog. In fact, after installing a simple Flash Blocker on my Chrome install the other day, the CPU usage of my browser went down an astonishing 80 percent.

Anyway, while you haven’t needed Flash to access YouTube for years, this is officially the turning of the tide: Even if you have Flash installed, Google will now play video on HTML5 if you’re accessing the site in Chrome, Microsoft’s IE11, Apple’s Safari 8 or a beta version of Mozilla’s Firefox browser.

Maybe now we can finally kill off Flash except for extreme legacy purposes, once and for all?

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