If the web is so great, why are there still client application hold-outs?
Look at the popular PC applications of recent years: Skype, IM, Office 2007, iTunes, games. Why have they followed the client approach?
|Application||Why client?||In two years|
|Skype, IM||Skype and IM require real-time communication between two parties. That's something that the HTTP request-response model of the web will never solve||Browser plug-ins are incorporating real-time technologies like XMPP - this will remove the need for separate client applications|
|Office 2007||Office 2007 has exploited its massive installed base, a far better user interface from the previous version, and certain browser weaknesses in page layout and editing.||Google Docs, Zoho and Wikis are already encroaching on Office's territory. These businesses will expand massively in the next couple of years, forcing less dominant Microsoft to lower prices.|
|iTunes||iTunes relies on an offline model, using downloads to iPods. It also relies on DRM, which browsers are not equipped to handle.||Both of these dependencies are crumbling (iPods are getting Wifi access, and DRM is fading) - I wouldn't be surprised if iTunes was replaced by iTunes.com soon.|
|Games||Most games rely on advanced graphics and animations, which browsers are not designed to support||I can't see browsers competing in the next few years, except perhaps for simple games like Tetris|
Conclusion: except for games requiring powerful graphics engines, the web will continue to replace today's common client applications.