If technology is driven forward by demand and hype, Apple is at the helm of a HTML5 labelled chariot rampaging through the streets. The iPad is coming and high-end newspaper and magazine publications are falling over themselves to change their sites to be used with Apple's new flagship device.
The amount of power Apple holds is amazing. Forcing the likes of News Corp to change the way their content is published is a task that would normally be impossible for any external company. Even if you were coming at it from the inside, you would never have a hope of dropping Flash video players. There simply isn't the business case to change something that so many man hours will have been put into, and backwards-compatability issues crop up all over the place. Yet with the onset of this new device, predicted to sell between 8 and 10 million units this year, companies have had to look to new, Apple endorsed, technologies.
This change, away from Flash, has forced the issue of HTML5 video. YouTube has HTML5 video mode, as does Vimeo, and this will soon be supported by the upcoming IE9. All of these major sites are now raising awareness of this new technology to people who wouldn't normally know about it i.e. your manager AKA the person with the budget. Now they're aware of the benefits of HTML5, they want to see what else it can do. If you are ever asked this question, show them HTML5demos.com or the IE9 test drive page. If they've got a more detailed question, go to the HTML5 Doctor or just twitter @brucel, Opera's web evangelist.
With so much drive towards HTML5 at the moment, you can't get away from it. With Apple as the driving force, the train will be unstoppable, though it will still be many years until you can use it in all situations; probably around the time we ditch Windows XP for good.