Rich Internet Applications make big splash on PCWorld's top 25 sites to watch

Rich Internet Applications make big splash on PCWorld's top 25 sites to watch

Summary: PCWorld's list of the top 25 sites to watch includes a few Rich Internet Applications and a lot of sites that are incorporating rich media. The web is becoming a lot richer and users are benefiting with some fun, engaging sites that help them be creative.

TOPICS: Hardware, Browser

It looks like PCWorld thinks Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) are going to be a big thing to watch this year because their list of the Top 25 sites to watch has a few recognizable names. The first is Popfly, Microsoft's mashup creator that is targeted at geeks and average users a like. It's been getting a lot of buzz and is a really fun RIA to play with while showcasing Silverlight technology.

Also on the list were Goowy, a Flash-based webtop and Picnik, a Flex application that lets amateur photographers retouch their photos from right inside the browser. Also surprising were the number of rich media sites on the list. Sites like Splashcast, Eyespot and Yodio all incorporate Rich Media elements and have helped expand what the web browser can do while blending a variety of web technologies.

It's really great to see the excitement of RIAs transcend the small group of people that have been tracking them and move into a more general audience. The applications on the web are getting more sophisticated and users are coming to expect a much higher degree of interactivity and richness. What's great is that this is all happening inside the browser. As the richness of the desktop moves into the browser and blurs the lines between a desktop app and a browser app, we can focus on when we should be deploying a desktop app and when we should be leveraging the power of the browser. It's going to be a fun conversation and these sites are leading the way.

[Via Sean Alexander]

Topics: Hardware, Browser

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  • Revisiting a previous question

    OK, so we've had this question before:

    Aside from the sites that are intrinsically visual (photo editing, for instance), how many have discarded accessibility in the name of a "rich experience?"
    Yagotta B. Kidding
    • RE: Revisiting a previous question

      A fair question. I know we've been working on making accessibility better in Flex. Silverlight uses a lot of HTML controls, so in theory it should be pretty accessible. But that's a very big deal. I think it might be fun to do an accessibility study and see how some of the RIAs I like fare. I just installed Fangs - - , a Firefox plugin that imitates JAWS. Should be interesting to see how it goes.

    Great comments - the progess in RIAs is extremely exciting. This has prompted us to recently launch (, the Global Hosted Operating SysTem which is a Web Operating System where all the applications (instead of Windows applications) are Rich Internet Applications! Let us know what you think...