[Nick Bradbury via Alex Barnett] I rely on a number of excellent web apps and I expect to see the web continue to become the dominant application platform, but I believe reports of the death of desktop apps are greatly exaggerated. The future of the web isn’t entirely web-based. Over the next few years we’ll see a number of new desktop apps which take advantage of the web as a platform, providing many of the benefits of a web app with the speed, usability and (in some cases) privacy of a desktop app. The next version of FeedDemon, for example, ties into an online API, and it enables customers to choose which data lives "out there" on the web and which stays private to their computer. We’re going to see much more of this."
Shawn forwarded this to me via email, and I really agree with Nick (and Alex) on this one. Here I go, attracting flame-mail, but I have to admit that I personally haven’t really bought into the whole Web 2.0 ‘hype’ (Dare has a good overview of the Web 2.0 conference). Instead, I view the future of applications more as connected endpoints. I remember Don once saying "no software is an island", and I really believe in rich client applications that tie into and integrate online APIs are the way to go. Want proof? Just look at the "most successful" example of this – iTunes. And, I sure ain’t running that in my browser (but I could, that’s the point).