Java – Will web applications replace desktop applications?


Will everything go to the cloud? If so, in which direction? Google-Gears? Flash,AIR,JavaFX?

See also: Does desktop development matter?

Best Solution

I've been asking this question for nearly a decade. In my business we build and sell both Windows and Web apps that do roughly the same thing. Four years ago I would have told you that we'd be 80-20 in favor of web apps by now. However, in terms of the numbers shipped, we are still about 60-40 in favor of the Windows apps.

While I once thought that the real barrier to the acceptance of software as a service was simply a desire for a better, richer user interface (which Silverlight, Air, etc. would solve), I'm now inclined to think that there are a lot of people who simply prefer a one-time purchase and local control over a web connected subscription model. Because this preference is rooted in personal perceptions of value for the money, I don't think that technology will change anything as quickly as we technologists think it will. Thus, I'd wager that Windows apps are with us for longer than we developers will ever expect; another 10 years at least.

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