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For better or worse, the web browser has become a widely used target platform for software applications. Desktop-style applications such as word processors, spreadsheets, calendars, games and instant messaging systems that were earlier written for specific operating systems, CPU architectures or devices are now written for the World Wide Web, to be used from a web browser. In this paper we summarize our experiences in using the web browser as a target platform for real applications. As a concrete example, we use the SunÂ¿ Labs Lively Kernel, a system that implements an exceptionally interactive web programming environment running in a web browser without any plug-in components. Based on this work, we analyze the limitations, challenges and opportunities related to the web browser as an application platform.