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Comparative Analysis of Desktop, Web and Cloud Apps

Ring Central Blog

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appsHow do cloud apps, desktop apps and web apps differ? Very often the terms “cloud app” and “web app” are used interchangeably – but each has unique strengths and weaknesses. Desktop apps, meanwhile, are considered in some corners to be passé. Yet even desktop apps have certain advantages.

Let’s take a look at each type of app in turn. Which is best for your business?

Cloud Apps

A cloud app functions in a cloud computing infrastructure, where data is stored on internet servers instead of your computer. Convenience and reliability are the main benefits of cloud apps. Since data is stored on remote servers, you are less prone to lose data. But you can’t neglect privacy settings, because the cloud makes it remarkably easy to share information or files with others.

Advantages

Disadvantages

Desktop Apps

Desktop apps run on a stand-alone basis on a personal computer. In most cases, they don’t need an internet connection, but they can only be accessed if you have your computer within reach. Desktop apps typically offer the most secure experience.

Advantages

Disadvantages

Web Apps

Web apps are designed to be accessed from a web browser. They use a combination of server- and client-side script to function.

The obvious benefit over traditional desktop apps is that web apps are accessible from anywhere via a web browser. Poor user experience can be an issue, though, because of internet connectivity issues and browser restrictions. Web app users may also encounter slowdowns due to heavy data traffic.

Advantages

Disadvantages

Each type of app has pros and cons. In choosing business apps, you must weigh cost-effectiveness, agility, time-to-market advantage, and software development complexity. So which kind of app is best for your business? As is so often the case with technology – it depends!

Featured photo courtesy of César Poyatos via photopin cc.

Originally published Jul 11, 2013, updated Apr 18, 2021

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