Mike Sanders says that businesses are clamoring for web based apps:

SEPTEMBER 29, 2003 ( INFOWORLD ) - Web applications rule the enterprise. That's the indisputable conclusion to be drawn from this year's InfoWorld Programming Survey. Despite directives from Microsoft Corp. and others that developers abandon server-based HTML applications for fat desktop clients, the ease of "zero deployment" through the browser continues to win the day.

Only a fool what count Microsoft out. But only a fool would ignore what businesses are proclaiming loudly from their desktops - we want more browser apps now

[via James Robertson]

One of the biggest problems I face as a Program Manager is that product teams often focus on features instead of functionality. Since Microsoft is very developer-centric it is very easy for us to focus on the implementation details of customer requests instead of focusing on their requirements and business cases. The job of a PM is to ensure that we focus on the latter instead if the former.

The InfoWorld article and the subsequent comment by Mike Sanders are examples of concentrating on features ([D]HTML applications) as opposed to functionality (zero deployment applications).

The primary message from the InfoWorld article isn't that users do not want rich client applications like Mike Sanders implies but that they'd rather have zero deployment than a rich client. The main lesson I take away from this isn't that users do not want rich client applications but that if one plans to provide a rich client solution then it should be a zero deployment solution as well*.

* In today's world, this typically means using Flash or Javascript.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003 3:49:13 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)

Thanks for the response. As I wrote on my blog:

I agree that the Infoworld article focuses on deployment as the primary issue in the corporate preference for browser-based apps, but the other major issue is usability. The simpler interface makes browser based applications much easier to use. At one of my with over 60,000 employees, they prefer the browser for deployment and usability and they will tell you loud and clear, they ain't going back to rich client.

I terms of deployment, I don't think that rich clients can ever match the browser in the zero-deployment arena. The ever changing runtime environment will always create administration headaches, even if it is zero-click. The stability and upward compatibility of the browser eliminates most of the administration headaches, if you can get to Yahoo - you can use my app.

Thanks again.
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