For the time being, I am convinced there is a need for desktop applications to continue to be developed.
Google is leading the way with the development of cloud based web applications and they’re doing a phenomenal job. But I experimented with Chrome as my OS for several weeks and discovered there are some major drawbacks that have yet to be overcome with cloud based web applications. Here’s what I’ve found:
- The ability to “tab” through applications, or use an Apple “expose” like feature can only be integrated from the OS. I suspect Chrome could provide this if a developer created a plugin, but that’s outside of my skill set currently. Which I’ve read might be coming.
- The ability to play classic Windows or Mac games, use pro applications like Photoshop/Illustrator, debug for other browsers, etc.. simply isn’t an option without partitioning a drive for a guest OS. Whereas you can run Parallels with Windows on the Mac in coherence.
- Improve the “smoothness” of the UI animations. This is something Apple has pinned unlike Linux or even Windows. There is an incredibly subtle, yet obviously experienced smoothness to that various animations when running all sorts of applications (namely minimizing/maximizing windows) that it’s competitors don’t have.
If Chrome can overcome these things I see no reason why they couldn’t reshape the software world.
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