I have very mixed feelings after reading this post on ReadWriteWeb. I agree with the conclusions, but not with the reasons.
Web Apps do not yet have the required trust in order to become mainstream. You only trust what you have in your hands, on your computer. A good point. There is a lack of transparency. With a browser based web app, you know your data is in the cloud. With a desktop based web app it is much unclearer where your data is stored. There is no need to know, location is transparent.
One of the reason mentioned is that Web Apps are not ubiquitous yet. We do not have access everywhere yet. a very good argument. I loven reading blog-posts, listening to music, looking at vidcasts, creating blog-posts, when I am forced to be offline.
I agree with the comment that ‘the browser is no place for multitasking’. Josh Catone wants to replace it with multiple browser applications, each application for a single web app, as is the intention with Mozilla Prism. As indicated in the post: ‘a browser is not for hosting applications’. Adobe AIR is already a much better approach, but it is not good enough. Real desktop apps are just much better. Just have a look at MarsEdit, WebNoteHappy, etc. Unfortunately there are now also bad MacOSX examples, such as net4mac, which is just a dedicated browser. Real Desktop Web Apps are based on API’s and not on parroting the corresponding web-pages.
For me it is all about the integrated experience between all the applications.