The Web browser's days may be numbered. Adobe and Microsoft this week both introduced new technology to help create rich Internet applications, which is to say graphically engaging desktop apps that work both with and without network connectivity and network data.
"The hybrid application world is upon us," declared Yahoo engineer Chris P. Saari at a Web 2.0 Expo breakout session Tuesday afternoon.
That's not to say the core technology in Web browsers will disappear. In fact, rich Internet applications like the Joost Internet video player are being developed on top of Mozilla's code base. What's in danger is the browser as default online application interface.
"There are experiences we want to provide the user that we simply can't get in a Web browser, unless we distribute a plug-in," said Saari.
Rich Internet applications promise all the benefits of online applications wrapped in a friendly, usable interface. And companies like friendly, usable interfaces because their customers like them.