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Can we dispense with desktop apps?

Jamie Barrows

Yucca Plant

How much of what you do on a computer every day is online? Do you really need many of the desktop apps you have on your Windows, Linux, or Apple computer? Depending on what you use your computer for, you may be able to ditch many of the apps you use for online ones.

ZenHabits, a really excellent blog has an interesting and highly useful post about moving your computer needs and work online. It has a lot of good applications and ideas for doing all your computer work online. I’ve actually been moving a lot of my computer work to web based apps myself for a while. But until I read the article, it was mostly unconscious. I wasn’t really putting an effort into moving online, it was just happening.

The advantages of moving your work online, are significant. No longer are you tied to a specific computer or location. Any computer with an unrestricted Internet connection is theoretically “your computer” since all of your stuff and work is online. And the applications you are using are not OS specific. So you aren’t tied to a specific operating system or platform.

The disadvantage is of course that all your stuff is online. Which is actually the advantage as well. But when you don’t have a connection, you can’t get to any of your stuff. And if the web based app you are using is experiencing downtime, you are out of luck.

In my case, I’m online most of the day. So I think the advantages, at least for me, outweigh the disadvantages. Of course, I’m not able to completely ditch all my desktop applications. I still have to use Visual Studio for my work, and there are a few small applications that do things I haven’t been able to find online substitutes for. But over all, most of the things I use my computer for, can be done online.


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