FO has been working with MS AJAX (through the ATLAS ctp, MS AJAX Beta 1, Beta 2 & the current AJAX RC 1) to dramatically change the performance feel of websites. The basic idea is that AJAX is used to create websites that do not have to post pages back to the user on every user action. This greatly reduces the time that it takes to load pages. The slower the internet connection (like those using dial-up or cell phone PDAs), the bigger the overall impact is to the end user.
Here is an example website before AJAX implementation: standard page
Refresh each version of the page several times to observe the differences.
Even those on a high speed internet connection will notice that in the bottom left of their status area that all of the page components do not ripple through during the refresh of the AJAX-enabled page. ONLY the area being updated on the page -- in this case, the informational center area -- is actually refreshed. Using AJAX as an enabling technology for Web 2.0 apps can have a truly dramatic effect on performance, depending upon the complexity of your site. The larger your site, the more pronounced the effect will be.
If you are interested in having your site upgraded with "Web 2.0" AJAX technology, please contact us for more information.