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September 28, 2007 10:31 AM

Web Apps Hit Mainstream...Sort of

Just found this interesting report released yesterday by Rubicon Consulting about the adoption and use of web applications.

Not necessarily all that much new in these numbers: people are using apps like email and games more than they ever have, but they're not using other apps all that much.

The biggest reason they cite for this is the perception of a lack of security associated with these web applications, as well as a sense that there's no great advantage using an online document creator vs. a desktop application like Microsoft Office.

Interestingly, though, Rubicon alludes to the fact that the barriers to entry for web apps isn't incredibly high. In other words, it's easy for users to adopt technologies quickly if they see reason to.

They just haven't found a reason to yet in large part. The primary breakdown seems to be that for the most part web apps aren't solving practical, real-world problems, so there's no compelling reason for users to adopt them, other than early adopters who'll start using technology simply because it's new.

While some of this certainly has to do with consumer adoption and education, I think we don't focus enough attention on the responsibility of the applications developers.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people are out there trying to create applications that are essentially iterations of existing apps. I come across way more apps that do analogous things to other apps than apps that attempt to do something new.

I think applications developers need to stop fighting for bigger slices of the same size pie and instead realize the opportunities that exist for creating applications that increase the size of the overall pie.

Only by doing this will we get more people engaged on the Internet, and in turn will we drive the Digital Economy to the heights it's capable of achieving.

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