R.I.P. – PC Software 1980-2007
that is correct. We believe that nearly all client (PC/MAC) specific
software – both consumer and business applications will go away in the
next 2-3 years. Of course, you will still have a few applications like
Adobe or Autodesk which will find life difficult as a Web application
or service, and may not ever get there. But the majority of
applications, will migrate to a web based model. There are simply too
many reasons including economic ones for this not to be the case.
Here are a few reasons why web applications will rule the next wave of software applications:
the years, the reason web application software was not very good or
limiting was because of the poor user experience. There was no drag and
drop, screens had to refresh often. That has all changed over the last
several years with Web 2.0 technologies such as Ajax and Ruby on Rails.
Today, web applications are getting very sophisticated and can do
nearly everything that a comparable application on a pc or mac can do.
Calendar is a great example of a complicated application, with a simple
and well executed user interface, that puts clunky Microsoft Outlook to
shame. Writely, (recently purchased by Google) is another great example
of web software that is nearly as good as any desktop word processing
other reason why software applications were not put onto the web was
the need to have constant access to the data, when unconnected. Today,
Internet connectivity is nearly everywhere with wifi cities, hotspots
in airports, and services such as Verizon’s Broadband Wireless
blanketing the nation. Soon Internet access will move to airplanes; one
of the most difficult place to be unconnected. So, in short, the pain
of not being connected to your application and data is minimized these
days, with Internet connectivity nearly everywhere.
Multiple PC Syndrome
years ago, the average household had 1 pc. Today, that number is moving
closer to 2, one for Mom/Dad, and another for the kids. Of course, add
in your work pc and or laptop and you can start the synchronization
games. Suddenly, the value of having access to your client application
and data is de-valued as you don’t have access at home, when on one of
your 2 PCs.
Sure some client applications have web interfaces
into their data to solve this problem, but most are poorly done, and an
afterthought to the rich feature set in the main product. So, in short,
a web application can actually increase the availability of your data,
not reduce it.
Business – Total Cost of Ownership
am not sure why a business would want to maintain its own hardware, and
software infrastructure to support some client software applications.
If you have done it before, you know what a headache it can be. In
addition, you often need to hire consultants to implement sophisticated
client software applications – more money.
The alternative is
a web application providing an on demand software solution available
anytime, anywhere with no hardware and infrastructure headaches. You
simply sign up, pay as go for your software usage – usually on a per
Today, web applications & services exist for
most major business applications. Financial, ecommerce, customer
relationship management, email marketing and human resources management
are just a few areas where you can find a web application to support
In conclusion, there are some limitations
today, but you will be hard pressed to justify spending money
(especially if you are a small business) to implement client software
applications and maintaining them with your own infrastructure when you
can increase your availability to your data, minimize your costs with a
great web application to solve your specific business problem.