Posted 27 Nov 2006
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In my opinion, there are very few reasons in a Utopian environment why an app wouldn't be built for the web. Web allows easy deployment, easy application updating, eliminates desktop compatibility issues, usually reduces local security/permissions issues, and is very easy to scale.
In the read world, though, your limiting factors are usually talented resources (do you have people that can build for the web), money (do you have an internal chargeback rate in your Enterprise for web apps that exceeds the benefits I mentioned earlier), technical limits (do you need to build Photoshop or just a data browsing application), and management support for web (does your management like web apps or are they paranoid of security problems, access restriction, etc.).
We are increasingly seeing in the consumer market that traditional "desktop applications" can be done very well on the web (examples include Google Spreadsheets or Docs, Yahoo Mail, etc.). These apps also prove that the web still has limits (I think Spreadsheets can only handle a couple hundred rows vs. Excel's 65,000+), so it's just a matter of your unique requirements.
Do you have a specific scenario for which you have to make this call?