Intel: Developers Need To Embrace Cross-Platform HTML 5

App developers today face an ultra-competitive market where they fight for consumers' attention and struggle to pull in consistent revenue streams, explained Renée James, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Software and Services group, during the second-day keynote at the IDF 2012 event in San Francisco. James cited a recent Intel survey that showed just how cut-throat the mobile app market can be; nearly one-third of applications generate less than $500 a month, and nearly 76 percent of consumers stop using an app on their smartphones or tablets just three months after purchasing it.

"It's very, very hard for developers to make money, despite all this opportunity," James said.

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Developers' challenges are exacerbated by the fact that they are grappling to build apps that can run on such a broad range of mobile operating systems, many of which require the use of completely disparate development environments. To lighten this burden, James urged developers to embrace the cross-platform HTML 5 coding language, which allows for an app to be built once but deployed across a variety of platforms, including Android, iOS and Windows Phone.

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"We all agree that it's been very over-hyped," James said of HTML 5. But now, she continued, in a software landscape that has become increasingly siloed with such a broad range of mobile devices and operating systems, its value to developers is becoming clearer.

"We believe that HTML 5 as an application programming language is what can deliver a seamless and consistent environment across the different platforms -- across PCs, tablets, telephones and into the car," James said, referring to this cross-platform compatibility as "transparent computing."

James said Intel will be releasing HTML 5 development tools over the next few quarters but didn't drill down into details.

She did, however, announce Intel's new River Trail parallel extensions for JavaScript, a solution that will enable parallel computing for Web applications starting in 2013. The extension is available today for download as a plug-in.

James also lifted the curtain on the new Intel Developer Zone, an online tool developers can turn to for resources on HTML 5 app development for Android, iOS, Windows and Tizen platforms. Developers can also find tools and online communities to help promote and market their cross-platform apps.

"We look forward to being your partner for the next era of computing and delivering it transparently," James told developers.