Bill de hÓra predicts...
if Gears (or something like it) becomes ubiquitous (and it will), then eventually XMPP will become a protocol option alongside HTTP, allowing data to be pushed down into the client.I'm for it. Note Adobe's AIR has all of these things, and then some, not to mention an API for either Flash/Flex or HTML/Ajax-based UIs.
I'd love to see more competion to the browser's current UI programming model, which is still what you are left with after adopting Gears. At least AIR gives you a choice, and Flex is open, so conceivably Google, Mozilla, or whoever could build off of Flex.
(I discount Lively Kernel for the time being. It's probably got more promise than I give it credit for. SVG has a lot of interesting capabilities especially for display, but it's still too clunky for the interactive bits. Kind of like NeWS vs. Display Postscript, ironically.)
Even Flex is so 1990s. There have been several significant improvements on that old MVC-ish model from the pre-web client/server days. Most of them in fact *pre-date* the 1990s adoption of Smalltalk's 1970s MVC. Still Flex is way better than HTML/Ajax for developer countenance though.