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Will all desktop applications be replaced by web ?

Prosteps > Development  > Will all desktop applications be replaced by web ?

Will all desktop applications be replaced by web ?

Prosteps develops applications using windows and web-technology. When we started Prosteps in 1998, windows development was 100% of the business. Today web-development is a crucial part in the solutions we offer.


Will web technology replace windows (desktop) development  completely in the (near) future ?  Will web-technology be the preferred technology to also build ERP, WMS and accountancy applications ?


Lets’ see where we are today.


Microsoft Windows 3.0 was launched in 1990.  (The same year I started my professional career at Colruyt-IT).  Soon after the launch of windows, tools like Delphi and Visual Basic were available to build windows applications.  Today, 23 years later, these development tools evolved to bring you a development performance to build desktop applications at lightspeed.  23 years of evolution in development tools, it shows.


The world of web development is more recent.  Although the web exists since 1994, we needed to wait for general availability of broadband (2003) to push internet applications development.  Not more than 10 years ago.  Technologies like Ajax in 2005 brought more interaction  making web  a possible  application technology, evolving as we speak.
Mobile is a important new element since last year.
A very interesting infographic of all webtechnolgy can be found on “The evolution of the web”.
Development of  webapplications is still a lot more complex and slower compared to desktop development.  Partly caused by the huge difference in architecture, partly caused by the lack of modern development tools (compared to desktop).


Today there are many examples of great webapplications.
At Prosteps we use podio, a social co-working platform. You can even create small applications in the platform without any technical knowledge nor any line of coding.  Great implementation, check it out.
Tools like sugar CRM ,Salesforce or Microsoft CRM prove complex applications can be build using web technology.




But performance and very rich user interfaces  of windows applications can’t be met by webapplications.  Take a look at OpenERP , a web based ERP system.  Compare this with the rich user interfaces of modern desktop ERP systems….Not even close..


Webapplications can’t offer the user-experiences we have today in the desktop environment. For example  printing an invoice on the right bin of a printer without any user interaction is an issue… Although basic stuff.


At Prosteps we do both, Web & Desktop.  We always bear in mind the functionality and target use of your application.  Reach verus efficiency. Cost versus benefit. A choice of technology is step in a project approach, but not the first one.


You have microsoft outlook on windows,  you have a web version.
Which do you prefer ?