there once was a question, would the cell phone become PDA-like or will PDAs become cellphone line? the answer is PDAs died and phones are becoming PDA-like.
are web apps becoming desktop apps or are desktop apps becoming more web-app like? desktop apps already use HTML widgets like apples iCal and Mail. whats left? the open socket. any app can easily export its API and every application has an endpoint for a request. its the object request broker all over again.
the coolest thing that will ever happen in software in my lifetime has already happened - CORBA. we'll reimplement it every decade or two with protocols that are more open and prevalent with each go-round.
a new feature of firefox 3 is supposed to be a local webserver. i wonder what they're planning as far as programatic services (soap, rest, etc).