D. Keith Robinson has written an interesting article about the future of Intranets. He writes:
"...a company's Intranet would be better served as more of an enterprise-wide, network-enabled application than anything resembling a Web site or Web application."
It seems likely that content management systems will over time integrate with office systems. Products like Microsoft's upcoming Office 11 promise to be fully XML-compatible. You will be able to save any Office document (Word, Excel, etc) as an XML file, which will add structure and portability to office data. These days Content Management systems are usually based on XML, so it could be said that office systems are just beginning to catch up. However the main difference between most CM systems today and what Office 11 will offer, is that CM systems are web-based.
So will Intranets become more of an office application than a web one? Needs more thought...but right now I like to think Intranets will remain web-based. We are only just beginning to scratch the surface of web publishing. Weblogs, RSS syndication, XML technologies such as XSLT, and web services are just some of the exciting things that can be implemented on a web-based Intranet. Plus browsers aren't dead yet - they haven't even got to the read/write stage yet ;-)