Your Browser in Five Years

The next big computing platform won't be Apple's Mac OS, Google's Android, or Microsoft's Windows. It's already here--and it's the Web.

Early examples of applications that run inside HTML5-compliant browsers provide a peek into the future. Flickr Explorer, for instance, allows users to zoom in and out of their images, as well as to pan through photos, much faster than they can with today's browsers.

Complex 3D games will run inside browsers, too. Browsers will become more gamer-friendly as burgeoning Web standards such as WebGL--which provides a 3D graphics application programming interface (API) in a browser without the use of plug-ins--take hold. Though Aurora may never become an end-user interface, it does offer an intriguing glimpse of a browser-based future that today's tech-industry players--via standards groups like the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)--are working hard to create.

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