Three years ago, in a post on this blog, I stated that I thought that the browser was becoming less important as more data moved into streams of data through RSS and aggregated feeds, as well as a raft of other consumer-oriented Web services.
This position was based on the assumption that the endpoint, in the form of installed applications, wouldcontinue to serve as the focus for user interactions, that these applications would be the points where data was accumulated and processed by users. This could be best described as the firehose: The end-user desktop would be at the end of a flood of data being pushed to it a never-ending flood.
Firefox and Chrome have changed all of that.
The browser has, instead, become the window through which we view and manipulate our data. It's now ok, completely acceptable in fact, to use online applications as replacements for installed applications, stripping away a profit engine that has fed so many organizations over the years.
The endpoint has been shown to be the access point to our applications, to our data. Data is not brought and stored locally: It is stored remotely and manipulated like a marionette from afar.
While Chrome and Firefox are not perfect, they serve as powerful reminders of what the Web is, and why the browser exists. The Browser is not the end of a flod of incoming data, it is the window through which we see our online world.
While some complain that there is still an endless stream of data, we control and manipulate it. It doesn't flood us.