We’ve been hearing, “my application is web based and therefore it’s superior,” a lot lately. If you’re leaning towards this mind-set, or worse, you’ve fallen into the trap, we pose the following questions to you:

  • Have you used Microsoft Office Online as well as the desktop version? If so, which was better?
  • Have you used Microsoft Word on your desktop and compared that to Google Docs or Word Online? If so, which was better?
  • Have you used Adobe Photoshop and compared that to Photoshop Online or Pixlr? If so, which was better?

These questions ask you to compare a few frequently used desktop applications to their web based alternatives. When we reviewed responses to the questions, we noticed a trend. The desktop versions of all the above applications (plus a few more we asked about) were ranked as better than their web based alternatives and for these reasons:

  • Better functionality
  • Easier to use
  • Faster
  • More powerful

It’s true. Just because it’s online or web based, it doesn’t mean it’s better. Web based applications weren’t better 20 years ago, they weren’t 10 years, they aren’t right now, and, sure – they are making strides, but it is likely another 10-20 years before they are on par with desktop applications.

Don’t fall into the trap that web applications are superior to desktop applications. Evaluate what features are important to you in an application – such as ease of use, functionality, customer service/support, and accessibility – and then really take the time to compare the desktop option and the web based option.  Although price may be higher for the desktop application, you may be surprised with how much easier it is to function than its web based alternative.