ZapFlash has a provocative opening about rich Internet applications in its latest newsletter, entititled "The Dissolution of the Rich Internet Application (RIA) Market," but the conclusion is a bit tamer.
The writers, Jason Bloomberg & Ronald Schmelzer, note that the "concept of RIA spans the gamut of applications from those that barely have any richness to them at all in one extreme, to considerably rich and interactive applications that made use of a wide range of RIA capabilities in the other."
Is RIA simply a new term for service oriented architecture (SOA), ZapFlash territory?
"At some point, won't all Internet applications be rich, and all desktop applications become Internet-enabled?" say the authors. "If so, then does it even matter if a separately discernable RIA market exists?"
They see a convergence between client applications and Internet delivery. "As the line between browser-based and desktop-based applications blurs, and as approaches for abstracting functionality and information from user interfaces develop, other markets will eventually merge with the currently separately identifiable RIA market."
But meanwhile, don't give up on Flash and Silverlight or the ISVs who are developing on them. "This dissolution of the RIA market as a separate market is still several years away, as all indications are that the RIA environments market in particular will continue to experience healthy growth for years to come."
Whew! Lab49 and its brethren live to see another day.