As I wrote before, the distinction between a desktop application and a web application has become a fuzzy blur, and it is widening too. Desktop applications, traditionally belonging to the offline zone, go online to, for example, allowing you to collaborate on documents with your right shore colleagues. But that is only a small shift compared to the one made by Web applications. Their UIs have become indistinguishable from desktop applications, and web applications have crossed over to the offline zone by allowing you to use them while you are offline. The web application has become as rich and powerful as the desktop application. It could do anything a desktop application could. Okay, there's the security sandbox (a fence around the application that protects your privacy) that a web application cannot get beyond, but that is actually a good thing. And the real beauty of the web application is that it does not need installation and you always have the latest version. So, deployment cost is negligible. Also, backups are something you (the user) no longer need to worry about, because all your documents are stored online. Wait a minute? Are we back at the thin client versus fat client discussion again? I guess we are. The yo-yo-ing between fat and thin seems to be a perpetual thing. Currently, the trend is to go thin again (quite literally). HP, Dell and Asus have created cute little mini laptops that are cheap, lightweight and thinly equipped (e.g. solid state drives ). Each of these cuties run a tiny linux distro (Ubuntu, Xandros, ...) and smartly use software that has never been physically installed on it, such as Google Documents.