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Author Topic: one a/b test shows that downloadable apps are less profitable than webapps  (Read 1649 times)


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The last year has taught me quite a bit about the difference between web applications and downloadable applications.  To whit: don’t write desktop apps.  The support burden is worse, the conversion rates are lower, the time through the experimental loop is higher, and they retard experimentation in a million and one ways.

You have to admire the determination of the developer. I know people in this forum have a contrarian view on webapps, but in this case (simple app, bingo cards!) it really makes sense to have an online version.


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One of the best justifications ever written for how to get around having a crappy installation routine when you are either too lazy or lack the technical expertise needed to fix it.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2010, 01:16 PM by 40hz »

Paul Keith

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One of the interesting issue I found with this is that he writes this at a time when webapps are slowing down.

There was a surgence of this especially the heydays of the commercial blogs but nowadays unless your app is in Facebook or Apple's App Store, it barely gets any attention compared to a desktop app.

Mostly the search appears to be on which next gadget/web service or browser appear to support the most modifications and extensions and then you throw all your ideas there and hope some of it gets recognized.

Even simple webapps, how many are being released nowadays and how many are being widely recognized?

Meanwhile cloud style desktop/mobile apps are getting all the Web 2.0 buzz. I'm almost worried that a major web service/web app might be abandoned eventually. Some have been bothered by Ning's decision to remove free networks while many predict the demise of Digg and the lack of updates beyond social network like features. The day of webapps might be dying faster than web 1.0 sites.

It's not directly related to the article but right now with the way things are going but equally with the way services encourage less content creation, the web may either enter a Renaissance, a Dark Age or a Silver Age depending on what issues and what concepts gets monopolized. (Net Neutrality, Walled Garden, Mobile Gadgets and Desktop Webapps reliance following Chrome OS.)