Steve Gillmour (no relation) contemplates that if email and web browsing developed rich client apps over time so will RSS. This couldn’t be more wrong. Ignoring the fact that e-mail started as a main frame app so of course it was all terminal emulation, client apps are only useful for creation (word, photoshop). Email is essentially a creator and file system. *This* is why we have developed a rich client app, and my guess is that over time web-based *will* evolve to be good enough (heck it is for most people according to the number of hotmail and yahoo addresses in my book). RSS is really just content. It is just stuff to read. There is absolutely no need for a client solution except for the “read on the plane” offline case*. My guess is that widely available wi-fi will solve this before a offline clients are common for this purpose. Client apps are inherently poor net-citizens with their constant polling, and redundant downloading. Disk caching helps browsing, but proxy servers are even better. Why require each user to cache when a central server could do it better.
* how much time to people spend on planes not watching DVDs anyways that this is the most important scenario cited.