The Tools are going to decide the RIA Future
I just read an interesting article over at Anthony Franco's blog titled "The Future of Rich Internet Applications" (found via Ryan Stewarts blog). It's quite a balance piece and whether you subscribe to his ideas or not, you have to at least give him points for being openly honest about it all. It probably also represents how most on the street are thinking about this whole Rich Internet Application (RIA) dream we keep getting sold on.
I personally think the future of RIA isn't about the output; it's always going to boil down to the input. I left the Adobe scene not because I hated the technologies; it was because I was frustrated that the focus was always on the wrong things. Developer tools are where the battlegrounds are decided, it's where you begin the journey, and if you can't develop with the "right tool, right job" then no matter what end result you can put on the table, it won't get traction.
Visual Web 2005 also can bring you from HTML to AJAX to end result in a fluid manner.
Visual Studio 2005 can not only do the above, but it also brings about the notion of "Team Collaboration" at the same time.
So for me, I subscribe to the idea that it's not just about the destination, it's also about the journey. The end compiled result isn't always the reason why projects start and finish.