Microsoft has started another push to say that web applications (these days, those including AJAX) can not do everything that locally base applications can. I disagree. I used to consider myself to be a power user, but 99% of what I do now i can do through online only apps such as Writely.com (MS Word) , NumSum.com (MS Excel), HipCal.com (MS Outlook), Gmail.com (MS Otlook Express), Flickr.com (MS ?) and others. Check out this snippet, and read the rest from the link..

A key premise behind Microsoft’s “smart client” pitch is that Web apps are not as good as fat/rich/locally based ones.

Microsoft defines smart clients as software that combines the best of Web apps with the best of locally hosted ones.

Microsoft’s smart client elevator pitch: Web apps can’t handle all the complex tasks that smart-client apps can. They can’t gracefully switch between connected and disconnected states. And they can’t take advantage of all the rich graphics and processing power that smart-client apps can.

Microsoft has been pushing the virtues of smart clients for at least two years. But this year, the company is intent on getting that message to stick.

But not everyone thinks you need Microsoft’s .Net, Visual Studio and Windows environment to write powerful, savvy apps. There’s an alternative camp that’s gaining some mind share. They are backing a programming model known as “Ajax,” which translates roughly to “asynchronous JavaScript and XML.”

Adaptive Path, a consultancy that does Web design work for companies large and small, is the firm that coined the Ajax moniker.

Microsoft Watch: Could Ajax Wash Away ‘Smart Clients’?

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