The title for this post, obviously, reflects my opinion, but it is not just a wild guess. Through the years I have worked with a lot of different web based applications, from many different vendors. I have seen a great many people start using them and watched how the process evolves.
Most people prefer to access applications through the browser, rather than using clunky desktop interfaces. Of course, not all desktop interfaces are clunky and many applications are better served by a traditional native interface. At this time I would say that office productivity tools are one of the main groups to fit in that category.
Most business applications however, can be implemented gracefully as web based applications and the use of Ajax and such techniques allows for the creation of very responsive interfaces. Recently I took part in a discussion about having web applications that mimic desktop applications or that look like websites. I consider this a matter of personal choice, but I believe that web applications should look like websites. Right now, I’m writing this article inside a browser and I am quite happy with the interface that is provided. It behaves as I expect and thought I would not want to write a book in this interface, it feels quite okay for writing a blog post.
The fact is that I have never seen a web based application that mimicked a desktop interface and that felt natural. Quite the contrary, actually. They normally feel slow and unresponsive. It might be due to the fact that you expect something that looks like a web page to have small delays in responding to your commands and when it behaves better than that it is a nice surprise, but the opposite is true for something that looks like a desktop application. If something looks like a normal windows application, you expect it to behave like one. In this case, even the slightest delay will fell odd and make the application seem to be unresponsive.
The more logic you implement on the browser side, the more responsive your application tends to be. (As long as you know what you are doing. ) In building an application that will be available through the Internet, it is inevitable that there will be a slight lag anytime you need to do a round-trip to the server to obtain data. This is one of the main reasons why applications that try to simulate a regular desktop application are going to have a hard time being appreciated by end-users.