Many online video viewers are following the ongoing battle among players in the development of the next standard in online video - whether to continue down the current path of Flash ubiquity or switch to an HTML 5 open-source standard. Adobe and many content distributors are standing behind Flash, while Google and Apple (for different reasons and with different open source standards) are pushing for HTML 5 video to replace Flash. But, at least for now, Google's YouTube - the number one distributor of online video - will stick with Adobe Flash.
For us techno-nuts, GigaOM outlines the issues in dispute for the pro-HTML 5 crowd, which does not currently have a video standard. Microsoft and Apple have endorsed the use of H.264, but that idea is a non starter for the Mozilla and Opera browser communities, who won't incorporate H.264 into their browsers. Google has introduced a new video format called WebM in an attempt to bridge the divide, but Apple and Microsoft won't incorporate WebM into their Internet Explorer and Safari browsers. Because there's a divide, Google has opted to stick with the near-universal acceptance of Adobe's Flash. But that excludes iPhone and iPad users, who don't have support for Flash in the version of Safari on those devices which, if I may say, is a royal pain in the neck and my biggest (and only material) complaint about my iPad.
Other online video sites, like Hulu and Netflix, aren't wading into the dispute, opting to stick with Flash for its ubiquity and support for video security and advertising features.
I think everyone should read up the history of Beta vs. VHS, and it's detrimental impact on everyone involved. Maybe then they will figure this out sooner rather than later.