Recent years have seen a gradual transit from desktop applications (such that are installed on the computer) to web applications (such that reside on a web page).
Why should we think that the web is about to take the primacy in the software world?
First, the social networks niche which has become the most popular use of the PC, taking captive tens of millions of enslaved fans who actually live online.
Second, the growing capacity of the web of hosting large size data platforms, like: file-sharing platforms (i.e Emule) or video-sharing platforms (i.e Youtube).
Third, Rich Internet Applications (RIA), like: Flash or Silverlight, that give the user graphic quality equal to that of desktop applications.
Forth, users nowadays prefer logging in to their applications from everywhere (including mobile phones), so applications that are attached to a PC frequently may be conceived as old-fashioned.
So why are desktop applications still with us? I can think of a few reasons:
First, the power of the habit: people are used to downloading stuff to their computers, and among computer geeks or gamers downloading is simply a ritual. An entire industry of downloading and file-sharing is still alive and in full strength.
Second, the physical network (the communication lines) are way behind the size of data which is needed to go through them, especially in developing countries. This means that heavy applications get stuck in the way, giving desktop applications a chance of remaining relevant.
In short, the web becomes more and more dominant within the PC use and the desktop applications will become more and more expandable, but this process may take decades.
Do you think differently? Tell me!