Desktop vs. Mobile: 8 Reasons Why the Desktop Is Winning

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Desktop vs. Mobile: 8 Reasons Why the Desktop Is Winning

Contrary to some beliefs, the desktop PC could be around for years to come. Here's when the desktop PC is preferred over the smaller-screen smartphones and notebooks. 

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The Importance of Desktop Far Exceeds Mobile

Even with the increase in smartphone and tablet applications (and the surrounding hype), businesses continue to rely heavily on desktop applications. In fact, 80 percent of those surveyed for "The State of the Modern Web" report say desktop applications will remain "absolutely essential" in the next 12 months, compared with just 36 percent who say the same about mobile applications.

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Desktop Remains Critical for Businesses of All Sizes, but Especially Large Enterprises

As companies get bigger, desktop applications become even more important. For companies with less than 10 employees, 71 percent indicated that desktop applications are "absolutely essential." But as company size increased, so did respondents' rankings of the importance of desktop as an application platform. Among the largest enterprises, those with more than 1,000 employees, 85 percent said that desktop applications are "absolutely essential."

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Desktop Apps Live Longer Than Mobile Apps

The desktop isn't dead, and it appears that there won't be a demise in the foreseeable future. According to the survey, 81 percent of desktop applications are maintained for more than three years, while 48 percent are maintained for more than five years. In comparison, only 55 percent of mobile apps and 58 percent of tablet apps are maintained for three years or more.

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Desktop Browsers Are Essential in Testing, Supporting Web Applications

For more than 20 years, web application development has evolved quickly. From its origins in the early 1990s with simple websites, it quickly grew to a worldwide phenomenon as technology matured and more dynamic browser-based applications were developed. Web technologies including HTML5, JavaScript and CSS emerged to assist development teams in delivering more sophisticated web applications. E-commerce was born and then morphed into simply business as all businesses realized the need for a web strategy. Now desktop browsers play a critical role in helping developers test and support web applications. Chrome leads the pack with 95 percent market share, followed by Firefox (77 percent), Internet Explorer (72 percent), Microsoft Edge (41 percent) and Opera (11 percent).

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Screen Size Is Important

As companies build and maintain web applications in this data-focused and increasingly data-centric world, the need to visualize data is increasing. While mobile and tablets will remain important to our everyday lives and business processes, "people simply do not want to view and analyze data on a small screen," Sencha's Landro said. All (100 percent) of those surveyed currently use or plan to use data visualization or analytics capabilities in their applications, with more than half using or planning to use advanced data capabilities such as D3 (53 percent) and pivot grids (50 percent).

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Leaders in Tech Recognize the Desktop's Importance

Apple remains committed to the desktop. In response to recently voiced industry and user concerns about its desktop plans, CEO Tim Cook reassured users that "the desktop is very strategic for us," adding, "You can pack a lot more performance in a desktop—the largest screens, the most memory and storage, a greater variety of I/O, and fastest performance. So there are many different reasons why desktops are really important, and in some cases critical, to people."

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Tech Leaders Target Desktop for New Apps

Facebook, another dominating force in the world of tech, is testing its group voice-calling feature on the desktop. The company launched a mobile version of this feature for its Messenger app in April 2016, and is considering extending it to the desktop to make it easier for users to coordinate large calls with up to 50 users—underscoring the importance of the desktop as a platform for even the most forward-thinking companies in this mobile-centric world.

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Desktop Will Be a Critical Competitive Advantage in 2017

Facebook, another dominating force in the world of tech, is testing its group voice-calling feature on the desktop. The company launched a mobile version of this feature for its Messenger app in April 2016, and is considering extending it to the desktop to make it easier for users to coordinate large calls with up to 50 users—underscoring the importance of the desktop as a platform for even the most forward-thinking companies in this mobile-centric world."In 2017, we will create more data than ever before, creating new challenges around consuming that data to make strategic and tactical decisions," Sencha's Landro said. "The challenge for all businesses will be getting their hands around all that data and being able to use it either strategically to make important long-term decisions, or in real time to make operational decisions." Bottom line: To get ahead and stay ahead of the competition,...

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Best Practices for Enterprises Planning to Adopt AI

We now have all the tools in place—big-pipe broadband connectivity, cloud services, smart devices, super-powerful servers and the burgeoning internet of things—to put IT into an entirely new high gear and move our culture ahead in the new century. So what, then, must enterprises do next to find competitive advantage? We are seeing it now—the introduction of more functionality through artificial intelligence. AI is now a part of more apps and in more places than we've ever seen before: wearables, cars, productivity apps, military, health care, home entertainment—the list is lengthy. However, as the tidal wave around AI grows, the noise can distract organizations from accurately assessing which AI technology is right for them. In this eWEEK slide show, using industry information researched by Narrative Science Chief Scientist Kris Hammond for his e-book, “Practical Artificial Intelligence for...
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