Desktop Applications vs Web Applications

By | May 23, 2020
Desktop Application vs Web Application

It does not matter whether you are a software developer or just a web surfer you must have a basic idea about the desktop and web applications. If we define in simple words a software that directly runs on your system is a desktop application and software which run on the web-browser is known as a web application. A desktop application is easy to tell, but how can we tell whether the page we are surfing right now is a web-application or a simple web-page, these days all the webpages are the example of web applications because the web pages are dynamic in nature, this dynamic nature is brought to you with the help of web-applications.

For example, you can install MS Office in your system as a Desktop Application but Microsoft also provides an online portal for MS office online as a web application.


Applications or Software

In technology, we often interchangeably use the application with software and up to some extent they both are same but there are some technical differences between application and software. An application is used to perform some specific task whereas software is a collection of different applications. This article is not about Application Vs Software here we have mentioned some major differences between System and Web Software.

Desktop vs Web Applications

System Dependency

Desktop: This is the major difference between Desktop and Web Application, a desktop application is restricted to the system operating system, for different operating system we have to download or install the different Desktop application for example if we have the VLC software for windows it won’t run in MAC or Linux for those OS we have to install the different edition of VLC.

Web: But this is not the case with Web-application they do not depend on the operating system, for example, if you open on your browser you do not need a specific version to run the videos on it. Web applications are platform-independent.

Upgradation of Application

Desktop: If there is an updated version of the Desktop application then each user has to download the complete update files.

In desktop, we can work with the old version of the application if the parent company of that application allow that.

Web: If there is any update in the application user does not need to update any file all updating would be handled by the server itself.

In Web application, we can not access the old version of the application we always work with the upgrade version.


Desktop: If an application is installed in your system so we can not access it from anywhere else.

Web: We can access a web application from wherever we want, for that we just require internet connection.


Desktop: When it’s come to applications and software industry security become a major concern, and the desktop applications considered more secure because they are on your system and only authorise people can access your system.

Web: It’s no brainer that web is the most unsecure place, though developer and cybersecurity doing their best to prevent the web from unethical users, yet we have no full-proof plan for the web security. Web applications considered the most unsecure application because they are always at the verge of attacks.


Desktop: Desktop applications also depend upon the internet if the application is supposed to work with the server. But most of the desktop applications does not require internet, for example, we do not require internet to write something on MS office but if we want to save that file on MS cloud than we require Internet. We can say that Desktop applications are partially depended on the Internet.

Web: A web-application is completely depending on the Internet; we cannot access a web application if we do not have internet. The main framework of web application depends on the Internet.


Desktop: It’s on the user to maintain the desktop application so if there is an updated version of the application user has to download the update version application.

Web: In web, application user has no control over the application update.

Cost Factor

Desktop: Desktop application are not that much expensive, it’s like a one-time purchase.

Web: There is a continuous expense of the web application, such as hosting dee, maintenance fee security charges etc.

Head to Head Comparison between Desktop Application vs Web Application

Desktop Application Web Application

System Dependencies

System Dependent System Independent


Need to Install update version No need to install update version

Old versions

Can install Old versions Cannot access the old versions


Need the system itself Can be accessed from any corner of the world


Provide high security Less secure


Partial Dependent on the internet Fully depend on the internet

Cost Factor

Require Less cost Continuous Expenses.


We need both Desktop and Web application because both have their own use. If we try to conclude this complete comparing in a nutshell, we can say that we require a Desktop application to run a web application. The web applications are directly dependent on the Desktop Applications. If there is no browser on your system how would you access a web-application? There are various web applications which demand specific web-browser with specific versions too so we can not imagine a web application without a Desktop application.

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