The computer industry is in constant evolution.
One of the recent exciting developments is the fact that the web browser is becoming a lot more powerful than a few years back.
Chrome entered the browser landscape, Safari is going strong, Firefox as alternative browser is a big success, and Microsoft is catching up now with a massive technical leap in their upcoming Internet Explorer 9.
These recent, powerful changes are not about web pages
This is all about web applications
With the recent HTML5 developments, the browser is becoming a viable platform to host applications. Applications that do not need a server backend.
Think about it: in the very near future everyone will have access to a HTML5 browser.
This HTML5 browser will be able to run HTML5 applications, independent of the underlying platform.
This means no configuration management issues, and instant installation, as these apps can be server directly from a bog standard web server.
There are more advantages: scaling. A regular client-server application needs more power at the server, when the client base grows.
Pure in browser applications do not need a server for processing, pure elastic scaling, no additional investments server side.
And the extra beauty of it: a better use of the available processing power at the client, as in a lot of cases these system are very capable, but running idle.
You need a browser that supports the HTML5 FileReader object, so currently this means FireFox 3.6+ of Chrome 7.0 beta. Other are catching up soon.
Take a look at: http://nixps.com/nipdf/tools/pdfbrowse.html
It is experimental, but all your feedback is very welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org!