[Reader Survey] Do You Like Your Apps In the Cloud Or On the Desktop?


We write about the cloud quite a bit here at 40Tech. We’ve covered online word processors, options for free cloud storage, how to solve some of the risks of cloud computing, and several cloud-based task managers and productivity tools. In other words, we love cloud computing. But . . . lately I’ve started to appreciate the speed and elegance of a few desktop apps, and have started looking for desktop versions of some apps.

Do you have a preference? Do you prefer desktop apps, with their elegance and speed, or do you like the convenience of cloud apps? Let us know in the poll. Most of us use both cloud and desktop apps, so even if you use both, vote for which of the two you prefer (or the third option, if they finish in a dead heat in your mind).

Evan Kline

Hello, I'm Evan. I write about tech from my perspective – that of the average 40-something tech geek. You can also find me on Twitter and at my real-life job as a lawyer.    MORE ABOUT ME.


  1. As of right now I still prefer Desktop Apps because there seems to be more functionality with them, and you usually have more control over “advanced” options and tweaking. But I also think that it’s because Desktop Apps have been around longer so they tend to be more advanced on the user end. But, I also think that is changing though as more and better cloud based apps are becoming available. An example of a desktop app that I haven’t been able to find a “real” replacement for in the cloud are video conversion apps. Yes, I know there are a few out there, but I do a lot of video conversion and haven’t found anything to even compare to programs like Convertxtodvd or Winavi All In One Converter. I am hoping this will change since lately I have been totally trying to live in the cloud thanks to recently trying out Chrome OS after reading a previous article here on 40Tech. (Thanks Bobby)! I do think Google is on to something. Another good example of where a desktop app is better is TweetDeck. Even the new app from Google’s web store for Chrome just doesn’t have all the functionality of the desktop version.

  2. I hope you don’t mind me adding to my first comment, but I would like to make another point. Although I haven’t found web apps to completely replace some of my desktop software, I am hoping soon there will be web apps created so that I can. I am all for using strictly web applications for a couple of reasons. The first being that they are platform independent. No matter where you are or what OS your using, you can access them. And with that said, the only reason I still use Windows and not strictly Linux is because of these same apps not being available for Linux. I usually have multi-boot systems, and will primarily use Linux unless I have to do video conversion. Wine and Play on Linux & VM’s just don’t work as well sometimes, so I have to boot in to Windows for certain apps. If there were cloud based apps available that did what I needed them to do, not only would I use them over a desktop version but I would also completely ditch Windows and use Linux.

  3. OK, if it’s one or the other I have to go with the cloud. My stuff feels safer when it’s not subject to me losing something, dropping my laptop or whatever else I can do to mess it up. Having said that though, I really prefer a blend of both, a la Evernote or HTML5.

    The ultimate convenience, as I see it, is to be able to seamlessly work on something whether I am connected or not, and that I can use any device to access (my phone, laptop, friend’s computer whatever). So is there an all of the above?

    • I think we’re in the same boat, Josh. I find that I’m enjoying those desktop apps that have sync capabilities, so they are usable on any machine. If an app doesn’t have native sync functionality, I’m usually trying to figure out a way to get it to sync using something like Dropbox.

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