After every few years, we see a big change. Sometimes it is in form of computers, sometimes in form of Internet and sometimes it is in form of mobile phones.
The latest buzzword is ‘Cloud’. The cloud basically refers to a central location on the internet where all data lies and is available on demand to the ones who have access to it.
The data is usually accessed using a web browser hence saving hardware, software and maintenance costs to the ones who use it.
Application service providers have tried to provide every service accessible from a web browser, but people do not feel comfortable using web browser for everything. They still feel better using a desktop application but the data still in the cloud.
What I think is that after sometime, application service providers will provide little lightweight front-end apps to access the data that lies in the cloud. Something similar to mobile apps.
In short, all data will stay in the cloud, accessible from anywhere but front-end will be a small native desktop application for better user experience.