The browser is about to have its day... Apps are going to win. Now these Apps could be like the Chrome store pieces and developed in HTML5 but with local storage and offline access added but they will fundamentally be local things. Why?
- Moore's Law isn't going away any time soon.
- In a couple of years we will have Smartphones with quad or even octo cores, 8GB of main RAM and 256 GB of storage... and you are seriously just using that as a browser?
- Your TV will have that as well
- Your Fridge will be a bit dumber, say dual core, 8GB storage, 100MB RAM... its a ruddy Fridge
- Connections to the home will be a normal thing
- Mobile phone companies will start offering 'VPN to the home' as a standard offering so you can unify your control of internet access
- This doesn't require a 'home server' just a VPN link
- Your home devices will then be accessible directly or via the cloud
- Current 'TV via 3G' offers will be linked back to your home connection
- Rich Clients beat thin clients when there is a choice
- Look at the App Stores, look at games...
- The network is never something to bet on being 'always' there
- Do you want a Sat Nav that fails due to network connections?
- Do you want a Fridge that turns off because it can't download the right temperature for fish?
- The speed of light isn't just a good idea... its the law.
- Ping lag is an issue of immediacy. Even if processing takes zero time there is still 100ms+ of ping-lag to contend with and server lag, etc, etc.
This isn't a retro-grade step its actually a great challenge as what it means is that federation is going to increase. Social centralisers like Twitter and Facebook are liable to start facing competition from Social aggregators which work on federated information served from your devices via your home network. Cloud providers will remain focused on functionality and capacity and the blurring of the cloud between the physical and the virtual will be complete, you won't even know if your TV is running locally or via the cloud... except when it borks... which is why in reality it will run locally.
HTML5 a great technology but for it to win it needs everyone to sign up for 'open' on all devices, this includes TVs, Mobiles, tablets and motor cars. Applications are so much the 'thing' that Google are even promoting applications that can be downloaded and run from Chrome, thus meaning that Chrome isn't really a browser anymore but instead is a hosting platform for applications.
Server-side HTML has had its day, the only question now is whether the industry will unite behind a single 'open' client-side approach for applications or whether every platform will have its own approach. Apple's current success and the Android marketplace seem to indicate the later.
Server-side HTML - 1991 to 2015.