Internet Apps Taking Over

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With the internet getting bigger and bigger, internet applications are more and more taking over.
It’s been interesting over the past few months with the internet mail war that’s gone on because of google’s gmail. The features have gotten better and better and make internet mail clients feel much more like a desktop mail client. Both Google and Yahoo’s mail servieces have an auto complete feature when typing email addresses (which is not an easy thing to do on the web).

Yesterday I saw on a beta google site that google is testing an auto complete field for their search where when you start typing in your search, it will suggest searches for you and tell you how many results pages there are for that search. Amazing!

The point with all this is that internet apps are starting to take over for the desktop. Recently there’s been a desktop search war between Google, MSN, and Yahoo. Both Microsoft and yahoo released their desktop search tools as desktop applications yet google released theirs as an integrated tool with the web browser. Maybe google realized and yahoo and msn didn’t realize that in the future desktop apps are going to be less common, and web apps are going to be much more common.

Think about how much more a web app can do than a desktop app. Just look at the My Yahoo page. You can personalize it to do EVERYTHING. It’s so cool.

Recently I was asked to do some consulting (sort of) for a company who just paid over $450,000 to have a survey system built as a windows desktop application. They distribute servers to companies who buy the system and then the company has a server and a desktop that communicate with each other so that people can take the surveys from someones desktop computer. Can you imagine how much cheaper, more efficient, less problematic, less support calls a web app would have been. They could have had the whole thing developed for less than $50,000 and wouldn’t have had to sell hardware to people.

The whole web distribution model is so amazing and so cheap and so efficient. I hope more companies like this catch on quickly. I think they’ll have to, or they’ll be left in the dust by smarter quicker web companies.

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