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Who says desktop apps are dead?

Every advance in web applications brings up new questions about the impending doom of the desktop computer. After over a decade of attempts to make the network the computer home and business PC sales are still strong, and new applications are taking advantage of local resources such as advanced CPU, GPU, memory, and hard drive space. Our computers are creating encrypted Skype connections, analyzing photos, organizing our music collection, and running more and more Flash and JavaScript at the request of online applications.

Om and I both agree the desktop is far from dead. New applications such as iTunes connect the desktop assets we already know with additional information and updates from the networked world of online music. Faster computers running the latest operating system and supporting software at home will only increase the speed and efficiency of web workers in the years to come.

New desktop technologies such as .Net Framework 3.0 and Apple's Core Image and animation libraries will give desktop application developers access to local resources such as the GPU and specialized instruction sets not available through web interfaces such as JavaScript. Desktop developers have less variables to worry about as they deploy their app and bind to local resources and OS abstractions such as local database storage, search, and privacy settings.

Desktop browser software is not sitting still. The upcoming releases of Internet Explorer 7 from Microsoft and Firefox 2 and 3 from Mozilla will enable new features for web developers and their users. These new browsers will have better support for offline viewing and will be more easily extensible for add-ons from your favorite web applications. JavaScript in the browser will get an upgrade, with increased programmability and features to help power the next generation of web apps.

This week's PodSession, Who says desktop apps are dead?, is 21 minutes in length, a 10 MB download.