I loved this bit from Schwartz’s latest;
Or finally, as I did last week at a keynote, ask the audience which they’d rather give up – their browser, or all the rest of their desktop apps. (Unanimously, they’d all give up the latter without a blink.)
Tim Bray picks up on it and observes;
From right now in 2005, I see three families of desktop apps that are here for the long haul: First the browser itself, including variations like news readers and music finders, whether P2P or centralized. Second, realtime human-to-human communication, spanning the spectrum from text to voice to video. Third, content creation: PhotoShop, Excel, DreamWeaver, and whatever we’ll need for what we’re creating tomorrow.
That’s a reasonable list of apps, but I don’t know how “long haul” Tim might be thinking there. “Excel” specifically, seems like something that’s ripe for an AJAX equivalent, something Jot’s been working on (amoungst others). Also, the human-to-human stuff, while it has most certainly been handled primarily outside the browser to date, I see no reason why much of it couldn’t be handled in-browser, as the recent flurry of AJAXian IM solutions suggests.
Plus, lest one think that even those desktop apps that are around for the long haul aren’t affected by the Web, consider that most of them – Photoshop, etc.. – are, at the very least, destined for use as browser plugins.