A new post on O'Reilly Radar states that following the trend of moving traditional desktop applications to Web 2.0 online applications like Google Docs, there will be a wave of lightweight desktop applications with the same massively networked behavior you've come to expect from browser applications. iTunes is a classic example of this, with both an offline component available all the time, and a seamlessly integrated online component available when connected.

"The wave of the future is not web browser applications. Instead we're coming full circle back to desktop applications, but this time we've broken the old idea of single user silo applications with no connection to the outside world."

All this are coming to overcome inherent limitations to the kinds of applications you can develop and the kinds of user experiences you can offer in a web browser. There are tools like Flash or Silverlight attempting to mimic desktop look-and-feel into the browser, but they still can't offer the fully integrated desktop experience.

There may be a chance browser apps with approaches like Adobe's Apollo which provides the framework for rich internet desktop application, allowing Flex/Flash/Javascript/HTML web apps to run in a desktop framework.

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