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Difference between desktop application and web application

There are lots of apps floating around in the world today. Desktop applications are installed on a personal or work computer desktop. Web applications can be accessed through the Internet using browser. While both types of applications are software-based, there are fundamental differences between desktop and web applications.


Desktop Application

A desktop application is a computer program that runs locally on a computer device, such as a desktop or laptop computer, in contrast to a web application, which is delivered to a local device over the Internet from a remote server. A desktop application must be installed on the computer before it can run. We have to purchase it in physical format (CD) or download it from the internet. In other words, a desktop application is a computer program which runs on a computer device locally. There is no need for an internet connection if you need to work on a desktop application.


Web Application 

Web-based application is kind of application which run only from browser.

This type of software or application allows us to access it on demand by using a web browser. Web based software always requires an internet connection. Moreover, you can also use online databases instead of your computer’s hard disc to store the files. All the documents and forms that you create using online software are stored online.



Desktop Application

Web Application

Must be installed on the computer or device before it can run

No need to installed at device

Internet is not needed for the execution

Internet is need for execution

Run and execution at local device

Run from browser

Can not access from remote

Can access remotely

Cheaper for long term prospective

Expensive for long term prospective 

Local server needed to host the application

Server(Hosting)  is needed to host the application

Can run only at installed device 

Can run at any device which support the browser

Known as offline software

Known as Online Software

Performance or speed of the software effect by performance of the Device

Performance or speed of the software effect by internet.

Desktop applications can be portable, but most are *not* portable and require manual installation from the user

It does not need to installation, can use from any place where you cac access the browser and internet  

Usually need to be manually updated 

No need to be manually updated 



Desktop applications have many drawbacks: they have to be downloaded before their use, have to be developed on mul-tiple platforms, their administration and maintenance is problematic. In order to overcome these type of problems an increasing number of web applications have been imple-mented in recent years. Many study shows that users are twice as slow when using web applications compared with using desktop counterparts, mainly because of the limited interaction mechanisms provided by the web browsers, and the lack of clear delimitation between browsers and web applications.Therefore, any application development should also con-sider the aspect of usability before deciding on a particular implementation style. Several ideas seem promising and could be addressed by future work  Identifying a method of accurately predicting the perfor-mance degradation resulted from implementing an existing desktop application as a web application.

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