REDMOND, Wash. ( TheStreet) -- Microsoft ( MSFT) announced sketchy plans to make HTML5 happen in the next version of its Internet Explorer 9 browser.

This means little if you haven't been following the Adobe ( ADBE) Flash versus HTML5 skirmish sparked by Apple ( AAPL) chief Steve Jobs, who decided to omit Flash from the upcoming Apple iPad.

The audacious Jobs, according to some reports, explained that Apple was moving to the HTML5 camp, a multimedia browser-based application that is expected to challenge the widely used Adobe Flash. In less than diplomatic fashion, Jobs expressed his distaste for Flash and a preference for the still-in-development HTML5 technology.

Microsoft's preview of its Internet Explorer 9 for developers Tuesday helped advance the idea that HTML5 continues to gain support as an alternative to Flash.

But it seems that the timeframe for HTML5 is still way out. "The demo of HTML5," Microsoft wrote, "was a preview of a future release of the Platform Preview. Stay tuned for more!"

A preview of a future preview certainly screams immediacy. You can bet we will all stay tuned for this drama.

Adobe and Microsoft shares were both up 1% in midday trading Wednesday.

--Written by Scott Moritz in New York