This is more for our technically oriented readers, but including a C/C++ engine into a browser opens a wide spectrum of possibilities in terms of desktop developers migrating to the web and the implications for how DAM systems get developed in the future. Many (probably most) DAM systems use web interfaces, but even with AJAX, Flash etc. the experience is typically somewhat clunky and not as responsive as a desktop app. The systems in use now are a trade-off between simplified deployment vs poorer UX. This explains why many intensive DAM users prefer to rely on desktop tools like Lightroom to do their bulk cataloguing work before exporting assets to the web DAM that many of their colleagues use.
The main flies in the ointment for NativeClient are the lack of HTML5 standards (although Google have more clout than most in that area) and potential security restrictions from corporate users that frustrate deployment. The last point could be more difficult for Google to do anything about as Chrome still has a minority share of the corporate browser market. If Microsoft follow the same path as Google, however, we may finally see the end of the specialist desktop DAM or cataloguing app and the transformation of ‘Web DAM systems’ into just ‘DAM systems’.