Desktop RIA – Does it need another browser?

Creating desktop apps using web standards is cool. It opens whole world of opportunities of integrating your computer seamlessly into the web. We have seen the cool apps of mashing google map with google calandar…with desktop RIA you can do Outlook mashup with google map or Excel mashup with e*trade. It is thrilling!

The key question is where should the desktop RIA UI be presented? Inside your favorite browser or separate native window?

If it is not inside the existing browsers it means one of the 2 options:

1. Users switch between the browser (for pure web) and native window (for web+desktop)

2. Native window becomes the defacto browser for both pure web and for desktop RIA

The 2 options sounds like devil or the deep sea. While the former could be a pain for the user, the latter looks like ‘browser war’ all over again.

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