Web-browser-based operator-interface terminals are set to grow at compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.5% through 2006, says Venture Development Corp. in its research report, "The North American Markets for Industrial Electronic Monitors and Operator Interface Terminals." The market for Web Browser Operator Interface Terminals in 2003 was $9.6 million. In 2004, it is expected to grow to $11.1 million, and to $12.8 million and $14.8 million in 2005 and 2006, respectively.

Web-browser terminals offer many advantages. For one, they can use existing network. They can also act as pagers, PDAs (personal digital assistants), computers, or e-mail clients based on triggered times or events. Some other benefits cited by end users include: accelerating application ROI by lowering maintenance and support costs; and providing real-time access to data, ultimately reducing cycle time.

One perceived drawback to the Webbrowser operator-interface terminal is the lack of security. This may be one reason end users increasingly out-source the implementation of operator interface terminals to OEMs and systems integrators.