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It seems like Chrome OS completely ignores the need of desktop apps. What are the Pros and Cons of desktop apps.

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that's a question everyone discuss last time.

I actually don't prefer desktop apps. I prefer as desktop apps, as a web apps in the own cloud. why:

  • Security. My data is available only for me and my admins which are under my control. Every company larger than 5 employees has it's own secrets. If Google or government don't need your data in the present time, it doesn't matter they wouldn't need it the future.

  • Stability. If something fails I can kick ass of my admin. Remember the times when i.e. gmail was down. Even our exchange server has more uptime than gmail, even if we need completely put it in the maintenance, we do it when we want.

  • Flexibility. I can install any spam filter, any interface templates, any other stuff I want. At 3rd party web app you are bound to the it's functionality and can't change it so flexible.

why google apps are better:

  • you don't need to buy a software, you can rent it or even use for free with ads and no support.

  • you don't need to hire admins, that's very good for a small company. we used google apps during a year until we grow enough to hire own admins.

  • some things are really better i.e. google docs are much better than sharepoint 2007. But google is too lazy last time and there were no any major updates for a years while sharepoint 2010 is coming.

By the way, web apps are still very slow, even with google javascript enhancements. The web browsers are still very unstable and hard to use for something else than simple reading/writing. I don't believe web apps can beat desktop in the nearest future.

Of course people who have a computer for Facebook, Twitter and IM will enjoy web os at home, but at work - still no. But there's a lot of such people and their home desktops will soon belong to Google :)

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Desktop Pro:

  • Access to underlying system including:
    • Display Subsystem
    • Storage
    • Operating System and Desktop Application
  • Fine control over user interface

Desktop Cons:

  • Exposing your (compiled) code to a potentially hostile environment
  • Impractical to monitor usage
  • Difficult to manage versions
  • Reliant on underlying stack working (Win32, .NET, Java)

Web App Pro:

  • Update once for everyone
  • Monitor usage (Analytics)

Web App Con:

  • Rendering differences on different platforms
  • Reliant on specific browser technologies
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Personally I think there are more and more places where the line gets fuzzy, and web and desktop solutions are Blended (Twitter, SharePoint, Exchange/Outlook Web Access) –  Richard Slater Nov 26 '09 at 18:59
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