The Computer Revolution/Software/Installed vs.Web-Based Software

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Installed software must be installed on the computer before it can run. Desktop software must be purchased in physical form (such as a CD) or downloaded from the internet. In either case, the program is installed using an installation program. Once the software is installed, it is ready to use.

Web-based software is software that is delivered on demand via the internet. This is also referred as Software as a Service (SaaS) and cloudware. The software is delivered to wherever the user is at that moment. Documents that are created using Web-based software are stored online. There are both free and paid Web-based software available out there. There are Web sites that offer free alternative software to some software’s that are out in the market for purchase. For example you can use Google Docs or ThinkFree Online instead of having to pay for Microsoft Office.

An advantage of Web-Based software over installed software is with Web-based is the programs can be accessed by any computer with internet access. It also allows the user to access the programs regardless of what operating system their computer has as well. In addition to that, other advantages of web-based software are: many new applications can be tried out at a nominal or little cost by an individual and businesses. In this way, many small businesses can have access to most expensive application at an affordable price and hence they can access the most current version of the software without having to go for updates on any of company computers. Furthermore, web-based software can easily get access to online database, such as online maps and certain real-estate records.

Some disadvantages of Web-based software are that it has the inclination to run slower than software that is stored on an actual local hard drive and if the Web-based software server goes down it will prevent all its users from accessing the application. Another drawback is that a user would not be able to access the Web-based software without Internet access. One way to avoid not being able to access the software without Internet is to install Web-based software with offline capabilities. Another disadvantage is the cost, Initially it is low in cost. Eventually the monthly fees adds up to an overall higher cost. Web based application can be slower than the PC applications. It slows down the over all performance of computer. It is time consuming. It is dependent on internet connection so there is limitation of functions as far as it is related to mind map. The biggest disadvantage is that remote services would compromise and leak private information which can be very risky. Most businesses are using web based software which is easily accessible but at the same time there are some disadvantages what we cannot ignore.

Morley, Deborah and Parker, Charles. Understanding Computer: Today and Tomorrow 13th Edition. Course Technology: Boston, MA, 2011

The use of SaaS or Cloudware over traditional installed software is becoming more and more popular. Whether for free interactive games through Websites or free online office suites (such as Google Docs), more and more companies are opting for SaaS as a pricing scheme. These companies will use a subscription model for the software use, usually per user, per month. Gartner projects a 17.9% rise in global spending this year and predict it will remain strong through 2015. Market researcher IDC claims that SaaS delivery will outpace traditional software delivery nearly five times faster than the software market as a whole. They predict that by 2015, SaaS delivery will constitute 13.1% of global software spending and 14.4% of applications spending.

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