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A thought-provoking article entitled Radical Desktops Deliver Power To The People over at Information Week got me wondering about what the impact of all this is for our customers at IncorTech.  Research presented in the article indicates that while 96% of end users in organizations surveyed contained pc’s running Windows XP with locally running apps, there is a lot of diversity out there.  For example, fully 26% of the same group surveyed have Mac’s.  30% surveyed have a SAAS product in use.  The one that scared me was that 35% have machines running Windows 2000, ME or earlier systems still in use!  (Scary because of system security.)

The shift to end users choosing the way they experience the tools they use everyday is apparent in even smaller firms.  If we take IncorTech for example, I myself have been using Macs since 2005 and I use a MacBook with virtualized Windows XP to demonstrate the applications we provide for our customers.  People everywhere are dumping Internet Explorer for Firefox for a variety of reasons.  And Google’s new Chrome browser is intended to provide all kinds of features that make the browser the primary software you’ll use on your computer.

Our software industry is often slowly influenced by consumer trends in computing.  However, the move to the web is happening faster and faster all the time.  Our desire at IncorTech is to offer our customers choice wherever possible.  In that regard, we’re looking to provide as many solutions as possible that allow you to choose whether you interact with an application hosted by someone or whether you host the application on your own server.  In some cases, we even find the technology permitting us to offer a traditional desktop client or a completely web-based client for the same database.

In the end, I think that customers’ demand for this kind of freedom from traditional platforms (especially as the mobile workforce becomes the rule and not the exception) will result in a requirement that business applications can be presented in web browsers.  Even as a Mac user, I had no idea that the iPhone would be such a significant player in business.  I figured it as more of an expensive toy – but with many application vendors creating special interfaces for iPhone users and the handset offering such high computing power, in barely a year, enterprise adoption of the iPhone is beyond expectations.

One final note: there is, fortunately, a bridge technology that allows traditional client-server applications to run from multi-platform web-browsers.  Citrix’ Access Essentials product actually allows the end user to open Internet Explorer, Safari or Firefox under Windows, Mac or Linux and launch applications from an icon that looks much like a desktop shortcut residing in their personal application portal.  This launched application retains the look of its native operating system platform but can be interacted with as if it was a window of a locally running application.  So, I as a Mac OS X user can run QuickBooks Enterprise without virtual machine technology on my Mac – no need for anther Windows XP license and no need for my IT department to maintain that virtual PC (anti-virus software and all) because its all running from the server, with great performance.  And it can be made accessible to me from anywhere.

The future of business applications is indeed exciting.

DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by IncorTech. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials.
Category : Industry News / Opinion

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