Writes Timothy Appnel as part of an article on how Flash MX can be used to build lightweight Internet applications:
As the Internet continues to evolve into an “Internet operating system”–programmable interfaces, ubiquitous access, and distributed computing resources–the document-centric browser is an awkward solution to a growing number of emerging needs. The browser is not dying by any means; it just needs a mate. And an ideal partner would be an Internet-application-runtime engine to provide optimal user experiences. Flash MX player and the SWF file format shows the potential to serve as such a complementing mechanism.
Timothy elaborates on the browser’s limitations: “The browser is not a panacea for all solutions. Browser-based applications require a connection and a server to operate. Bandwidth use is highly inefficient, which adds latency to the application’s response and erodes the user’s experience. The browser uses a page-centric model with poor support for “tightly coupled” screens, functions, and interactions; and only recently has it begun to add the most rudimentary features for direct data transactions.”