The rapid deployment of high speed internet access, fiber to the home, cable and other last-mile technologies, even in developing nations, means that the problem of needing offline access to functionality is becoming more and more a moot point. It is also rapidly doing away with the problem of lengthy load times for bulky web code.
My question is this: Is this trend a progression to the ultimate conclusion where the browser becomes the operating system and our physical hardware becomes little more than a web appliance? Or is it the case that this trend has an upper limit, and that there will always remain a place where desktop applications are more appropriate than applications delivered in a browser? If so, where does this limit lie? What factors should software vendors take into consideration when deciding whether to build new functionality on the web or into desktop applications?