Beyond the technical capacities of native vs. web apps, I think we underestimate the value of the ecosystem of small app business that Apple has created with the store.
Sometimes the web makes things free as in “liberated” but sometimes it makes things free as in “worthless”.
I don’t want to turn into a closed source anti-freedom reactionary, but there’s got to be some place in here for a business model for app makers.
What could we put in HTML5 that would support that?
How about an app-installation app? It would enable any developer to make their app available, handle payment, and install the app. There could be more than one of these. Or how about an in-app payment engine that enabled seamless transactions?
Are these feasible? Would they have an impact?
The world of Windows developers is full of small shops that make a decent living. They have to live in Microsoft’s shadow, and under the shadow of Microsoft’s falling foot sometimes, but even so these developers may well be happier and do better work than many of the no-$ projects on Sourceforge.