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- Web applications do not cost less to develop, or take less time. Anyone who thinks this has never developed anything of substance.
- Client horsepower is not always as "cutting edge" as Microsoft would like you to believe. Contrary to popular belief, employers do not retrofit each employee with a new Vista twelve core laptop every other week, thus using server horsepower is the great equalizer.
- Deploying standard applications is quite problematic in any environment of any size. I deal with it daily in hospitals with thousands of employees. If only Windows had something like, "apt-get install FooWidet"... In this scenario, a web application is greatly appreciated by all. Let's also talk about the continuing cost of software upgrades for deployed applications. This can be equal to, or even more than the initial cost of the installation. For web applications upgrades, your per client cost can be as low as 0.
- Standard applications tend to use fat communication. Databases are contacted on all manner of ports, huge recordsets are retrieved, etc. Windows blocks all the fun ports you would like to use, so do firewalls, routers, etc. It is easy to get simple HTTP anywhere.
- Flash/Flex/Silverlight are not really web applications per say. Their environment happens to be housed inside a browser window, but they are running locally. They have the deployment/access benefits of web applications, but the memory/processor usage issues of standard applications. Their biggest downfall is the strict security sandbox they must run in, which really limits what you can do with them. Even so, I think this is the future of web applications, since I can make my application behave like (mostly) a standard application without the silly amount of effort required when trying to make a regular web application do the same.