Get ready folks, Rich Internet Applications (RIA's) will soon have you doing things on the web which you thought were only possible with desktop applications. These new web based applications will soon have you collaborating in ways you never thought possible, increasing the overall efficiency of companies in many ways. Here are a few interesting reads which all point in this general direction:
- Jason Fried of 37Signals predicts that most innovative software in the next 10 years will be web based
- Robert X. Cringly suggests “After a decade of messing around, thin client computing is almost inevitable for businesses. “
- Evan Williams of Odeo posted a while back about running your company on web apps.
- Michael Sica of Ataraxis Software will be developing his Project Management software using OpenLaszlo. I think you’re on the right track Michael, and I can’t wait to see what you come up with!
What could this all mean? I have a few predictions:
- As RIA alternatives begin to arrive on the scene in the next 1-2 years, progressive folks will stop using traditional desktop applications, including ALL Microsoft Office products.
- Lighter weight RIA alternatives to traditional desktop applications will offer collaboration opportunities far beyond those which are available in their desktop counterparts.
- Microsoft knows this trend is in the works, and will be mostly helpless to stop it until Windows Vista has greater market share.
- Many of Microsoft’s big money making software titles will be threatened. Microsoft stock will take a big hit when this trend becomes clear to the masses.
- Microsoft will find a way to create problems for RIA’s. A few possible scenarios:
- The new version of IE will break existing AJAX RIA’s in subtle ways
- The new version of IE wont play well with Flash, causing trouble for Flash based RIA’s like OpenLaszlo and Flex applications
- Microsoft will create and bundle it’s own Flash player, breaking Flash based RIA’s which threaten their desktop application dominance.
- SocialText and JotSpot will be leading the charge (if they don’t get acquired by Yahoo or Google first)
What do you think?