Keep Trying

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

More Push Back on Browser Based Apps

Dare Obasanjo, a Microsoft Program Manager makes a good point about this article I quoted last week:

The primary message from the InfoWorld article isn't that users do not want rich client applications like Mike Sanders implies but that they'd rather have zero deployment than a rich client. The main lesson I take away from this isn't that users do not want rich client applications but that if one plans to provide a rich client solution then it should be a zero deployment solution as well*.

I agree that the Infoworld article focuses on deployment as the primary issue in the corporate preference for browser-based apps, but the other major issue is usability. The simpler interface makes browser based applications much easier to use. At one of my clients with over 60,000 employees, they prefer the browser for both deployment and usability and they will tell you loud and clear, they ain't going back to rich client.

In terms of deployment, I don't think that rich clients can ever match the browser in the zero-deployment arena. The ever changing runtime environment will always create administration headaches, even if it is zero-click. The stability and upward compatibility of the browser eliminates most of the administration headaches, if you can get to Yahoo - you can use my app.

Thanks to Dare for taking the time to respond.