Blogger: Kirk Knoernschild
Soon, we'll be publishing our newest research on presentation
technologies, where we'll be spending a good share of time talking about the fit client. The fit
client offers a blend of benefits from previous and current generation
presentation technologies, including tighter integration with the underlying operating system, ability to execute when not connected, and a very rich user experience (UXP). These capabilities are illustrated in the
Obvious examples of fit client technologies include solutions from entrenched vendors such as Adobe (Air), Microsoft (Silverlight), and Sun (Java FX). But looming on the horizon is a major update to the HTML specification that could pose a serious threat to vendor technologies.
Based on open web technologies, HTML 5 will offer many capabilities that rival those of the commercial fit client. Since the release of the HTML 5 draft specification in 2008, many browser vendors are already supporting some of its capabilities. However, full support won't be complete for years. While this offers proprietary technologies such as Air and Silverlight a short-term advantage in terms of capabilities, they still lack the deep market penetration and ubiquity of the browser.
Without question, the presentation technology space is a volatile hotbed of innovation. As the products and technologies continue to evolve, applications will undergo amazing transformations. Vendors are forging ahead in providing products with unprecedented capabilities, while evolving open web technologies aim to supplant the vendor solutions before they ever gain widespread adoption. The race is on to provide multi-channel, branded, and context aware experiences filled with rich media, and each are on a collision course that is going to define the future of presentation technologies. It's going to be a wild and exciting ride.