if its true then im gonna be rly mad!!
The browser version opens up a larger market to them, and since they view it as compatible across their existing market, they have no reason to dedicate resources to supporting the launcher any further. Support will not be completely dropped until launcher users become the minority.
I think yes they are trying to "phase it out." Reason is they want to push as many as possible to use the browser version. However, I dont think they will force those that alreayd have the launcher to use only the browser.
Now, I could be wrong. If I am wrong and the launcher one day is not working for me, I'll be extremely mad. The day that they force everyone to use the browser will be POTCO's death. Mark my words here. There are too many negatives as a player when using the browser... too long to download game, have to download game very time you play, too much lag, graphics sux, . . . If they do this, POTCO will be flooded with constant e-mails, live chat and phone calls complaining about some problem with something. It will kill the game.
browser- (for me) lag, bad graphics, run time error, p3dyetc., horrible gameplay, 2 hours for 1 update
launcher- (for me) high graphics, no lag even on abassa, fast updates, no runtime error, no crashing, easy access
EDIT (Apr 13, 2011 1:58 AM):
the whole point of that... is that browser sucks. the end.