I recently stumbled upon a very handy website that showcases the plethora of new changes to the upcoming HTML5 standard in a easy to read, fun method of explaining the new markup (trust me, making HTML sound interesting is a challenge).
For those of you who aren’t aware, the websites you currently see and use on a daily basis are written in some version of HTML, most likely either HTML4 or XHTML. The W3C has been working on HTML5 since 2004, and will likely be developed over time for years to come, but the main idea is that browsers like IE9, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera have already started to implement HTML5 support, even before the specification is complete.
What this means is that developers will be able to start moving their websites towards the next step in HTML evolution. What does this mean for the end user? It means we’ll have a much more rich multimedia experience become standard on all the websites who adopt the new spec (which should be most of them, unless the site is defunct or the developer is daft). This is primarily because of how HTML5 allows developers to implement a variety of new elements to their websites with little to no effort at all. Soon you’ll start seeing websites with interactive media, including high def video, that will be supported by your computer right out of the box. No plugins, no extensions, and most importantly, no Flash.
So go on ahead, Dive into HTML 5 (this link is to the complete table of contents) and read up with Professor Markup on what’s new with HTML5.