Mobile and Web – The Future of Applications?

by Frank 20. November 2011 07:33

Coincident with the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) beginning in 2008 we have seen the beginning of a seismic shift in the way organizations regard ‘official’ application platforms. Maybe it has a lot to do with cost cutting and the drive to increase productivity; doing more with less. It could also have been driven by the volcanic eruption in social networking that drove the demand for Internet time on both conventional devices like PCs and notebooks but also on mobile devices, especially Smartphones.

Whatever the reason, organizations of all sizes now accept mobile devices into their corporate networks and allow for them in their security systems and application requirements. Before 2008 the BlackBerry was king but just for emails and appointments. It had strong security and integrated well with Exchange. Other phones and mobile devices were seen as just phones or as gadgets or toys.

The Apple iPhone was the beginning of the change and the iPad a veritable tsunami of change. Soon other vendors rushed into the market with new products, many not well thought out, and spent billions of dollars trying to compete with the iPhone and iPad. At the same time the mobile application development industry mushroomed into a major force as software companies of all sizes hurriedly updated their skills to take advantage of the demand for mobile applications.

New operating systems like iOS (Apple) and Android stole the limelight from old timers like Windows and Linux despite having a significant short fall in features and capabilities. Apple led the way with a cool and simple user interface that became the envy of all others. Anyone could use an iPhone or iPad after a few minutes familiarization whereas long term Windows users were still struggling to untangle Windows and work out how to do what should have been simple, intuitive tasks.

The new consumers liked what they saw and bought what they saw in the tens of millions. We are now well into the first really mobile generation. Most people expect to be able to do everything they need to do on a mobile device, even their corporate work. They also expect any application to be instantly and intuitively usable. Their patience for complexity and obtuseness has gone. Microsoft can’t sell them its ‘old way’ anymore because they have seen the future and they prefer it. The future is simple, intuitive, really easy to use and cool; all the things Windows and Linux are not. The Geeks can have the complexity of conventional operating systems; end users prefer the new paradigm as exemplified by the iPad.

Developers like us all over the world have shifted their focus from Windows application development to web (i.e., it runs in a browser on any device) and native mobile application development for devices like the iPhone, iPad and Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets running Android. We have invested in new people and have learnt new languages and new techniques appropriate to this new mobile world. Long live Xcode, farewell  .NET and Silverlight.

I can confirm that our development plans for the future are based on designing and developing mobile and web applications to at first complement our existing Windows .NET apps and then to eventually replace them. We see the future as one where all of our applications are being run either as operating system independent web applications (in browsers like IE, Safari, FireFox and Chrome) or as discrete modules running as native mobile apps on Smartphones and tablets.

Dell and Lenovo and HP probably know much better than me but if I was  in their space I wouldn’t be planning on selling too many PCs and notebooks in the future.

Comments (1) -

cell phone detector
cell phone detector United States
5/31/2012 8:52:05 PM #

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