There are some pretty exciting things coming in HTML 5 that will allow us to advance web interfaces even further than we have with the current generation of Ajax and other technologies. With backing from the market dominaters like Google and the legions of open source developers who will surely take hold of these, we could be getting closer to the mythical end of the desktop. How close will be determined by the creativity of designers and developers as much as anything else. And, of course, IE’s dominance and lack of support for standards will continue to hold us back, so the true pace of advancement is anyone’s guess.
Tim O’Reilly has a good post and discussion on some of what was covered at the Google I/O Developer Conference this week so there’s no need to rehash it here. Note: The graphs are a bit goofy and leave one wondering what is the standard unit of measure of user experience.
Take a look also at the Working Draft on the W3 website.