The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has issued its Recommendation of HTML5, effectively naming it the final version of the standard used to build web pages and applications.
The evolution of HTML5 has been complicated and slow, with the last HTML standard (4.0) reaching this status all the way back in 1997. A core part of the problem has been keeping up with the way the internet has grown and changed, and the new ways that people want to interact with it - through smartphones and applications, for example.
"Today we think nothing of watching video and audio natively in the browser, and nothing of running a browser on a phone," said Tim Berners-Lee, director of W3C, in a statement. "We expect to be able to share photos, shop, read the news, and look up information anywhere, on any device. Though they remain invisible to most users, HTML5 and the Open Web Platform are driving these growing user expectations."
In reality, locking down the spec for HTML5 will make little immediate difference to internet users, most of whom will already be using browsers that carry many of its features. But much of the progress made in web games can be attributed to HTML5, which has been dissected, championed and shot down as a viable platform for game development on this very website.
"It's a historic moment - a world of connected devices will connect to the cloud through the W3C HTML5 open standard," said Jean Paoli, president of Microsoft Open Technologies, in a statement.
"At Microsoft Open Technologies, we're proud of the collaboration and leadership that came together within the W3C to build an Open Web Platform, encouraging interoperability and opening doors for the next generation of the Web, graphics and games."