The Web As OS: Time To Get Ready

The Internet as we know it is coming to an end. Is your organization is poised to take advantage of cutting-edge technologies that make it possible to build browser-based applications that rival traditional desktop software in capabilities and interface features?

Jim Rapoza, Contributor

October 15, 2010

3 Min Read

InformationWeek Green - October 18, 2010 InformationWeek Green Download the entire Oct. 18, 2010, issue of InformationWeek, distributed in an all-digital format as part of our Green Initiative
(Registration required.)
We will plant a tree
for each of the first 5,000 downloads.

We're on the verge of another explosion in Web application technology. The emerging HTML 5 specification, along with several other new standards, means companies can build even more powerful and interactive Web apps with nearly all the characteristics of desktop applications--including the ability to run offline.

Many of us have been headed in this direction for a while. In our July 2010 InformationWeek Analytics Web Application Development Survey, 74% of 341 business technology pros responsible for the use or purchase of Web application development platforms say they already use the Internet to deliver core internal applications to employees, and 65% say Web apps are core to their businesses. It's no coincidence that we've seen a boom in software-as-a-service offerings and exponential growth of social networks in tandem with improved standards support in Web browsers.

Things are pretty good, and they're about to get better. HTML 5 will let us deliver more powerful applications to browsers, not only on PCs but on many of the modern mobile platforms so beloved by end users, including the iPhone and Android devices. And since these applications are delivered over the Web, developers can cut out the middlemen--controlled application stores and markets--and go directly to customers and clients.

As standards-based technologies advance, vendor application platforms are also evolving. It's a matter of survival. Adobe (with Flash and Air) and Microsoft (with Silverlight) are laser focused on staying at least a step ahead of the standards-based options in features and capabilities.

Businesses need to manage this transition just right--don't slip off the bleeding edge, but also don't fall too far behind in terms of your applications' capabilities. Standing still isn't an option. For an increasing number of customers and business partners, if an application doesn't run on the Web, it might as well not exist. And the design and interface expectations for these Web applications are a lot higher than they used to be.

To read the rest of the article,
Download the October 2010 issue of InformationWeek

Research: The Web as OS

Time to Get Ready
Become an InformationWeek Analytics subscriber: $99 per person per month, multiseat discounts available.

Subscribe and get our full report on the Web as OS. This report includes 30 pages of analysis and 17 charts. What you'll find:

  • Respondent rankings and our in-depth analysis of Web application development platforms

  • The budget reality for Web apps vs. desktop development

  • Why RIA technology shouldn't be lagging behind HTML 5

Get This And All Our Reports

About the Author(s)

Jim Rapoza


Jim Rapoza is Senior Research Analyst at the Aberdeen Group and Editorial Director for Tech Pro Essentials. For over 20 years he has been using, testing, and writing about the newest technologies in software, enterprise hardware, and the Internet. He previously served as the director of an award-winning technology testing lab based in Massachusetts and California. Rapoza is also the winner of five awards of excellence in technology journalism, and co-chaired a summit on technology industry security practices. He is a frequent speaker at technology conferences and expositions and has been regularly interviewed as a technology expert by national and local media outlets including CNN, ABC, NPR, and the Associated Press.

Never Miss a Beat: Get a snapshot of the issues affecting the IT industry straight to your inbox.

You May Also Like

More Insights