Web or Windows? No, Web & Windows! (Part 1)

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The debate has been raging for over a decade and the heights the confrontation and rivalries at the turn of the Millennium. So, what is it, Web or Windows? At the time, these two diametrically opposed visions each had hard core advocates who had sworn allegiance to the death. Much water has passed under the bridge since then and today we understand that reality is not quite so simple; not everything is black or white.

The vast majority of businesses have purchased numerous office software programme licenses from Microsoft (Windows, Office, SharePoint, etc). Since the arrival of Windows and a great many of these have invested in the development of applications custom built in Microsoft’s .Net framework. And today, almost all IT managers are turning to the Web where they are seriously considering or at the very least evaluating their options there.

Between the Web and Windows, my… company teeters

We now know the many Windows software applications successfully migrate to the Web (Silverlight, SharePoint, etc).  Many open source software solutions haven’t been as effective as they were initially deemed to be.

Although we’re not interested in a simplistic analysis of these two approaches, it should be noted that we now know all too well, the costs of deploying an open source application are more often than not, less than or equivalent to the cost of a Windows based solution. Moreover, the personalisation costs of either Windows or Web based solutions are for the most part the same. Finally, remember as we mentioned in our preceding post, that

“So why should I pick one side over the other?”

6 factors conducive to the development of a Web application


You need to serve a clientele or employees who are spread out over a large territories or serving multiple business units.

User community

To the extent possible where the application serves a substantial community of users, a Web-base application offers undeniable advantages in terms of deployment and updates. In addition, this type of application will less affected by changes or evolution in any given environment.


The complexity of required interfaces is very low.

Real-time Web

Your application must collect, aggregate, process and display real-time data from the Web or multiple dispersed business units.


The type of application that you need is already widely fed and supported by an online community. For example, you need a CMS, or you want to start a blog? For each and every one of these cases there exist multiple excellent web solutions.

Expertise/ experience

You have on-hand a firm or a group of web developers who have previously developed Web applications that corresponded perfectly to your business reality and your business processes.


In this post we’ve looked at the Windows/Web rivalry in terms of the end result: the end-user of a Web-based application or Windows software. We excluded the case where a developer uses a Web environment for development via which the user stores data on the Web, as is the case with Forces.com for example. That’s another story that we can debate another day.

So for you…, which factors tilt the balance to Web or Windows for your business!

Of course, you can always chose to mix it up, deciding for each application based on the required level of development in Windows mode (client) and Web mode (browser) by levels of usability, compatibility, performance and autonomy desired. Is this one of the revealing characteristics of an Enterprise … 2.0?

Now, to tie this up on an interesting note, note that the vast majority of today’s IT directors would like to migrate all of their applications to the Web – you can probably guess why, right?

Have a great week,

Michel & Denis


Amy @ Label Printing

We’ve been getting pushed toward a certain web based sales application which will need to be modified and tailored to no end to meet our needs. Perhaps I’m a bit old school in wondering whether “the cloud” is the best place to hold our most precious data.


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