11. October 2010
(In reply to Henri’s post)
Most people will probably answer that the web browser is the application they use most often. That might be true, but is it the application they spent their time with when they are working? I certainly hope not!
So, let’s dive a bit more into the topic and think about what people are doing during their work hours:
- Acquiring information: web browser, PDF, Image viewer
- Communication: Mail client, Phone, IM (no, people are not using GMail for their work mail, believe me, they use Outlook or Lotus Notes usually)
- Creating content/working: Office applications, specialised software (CAD, Software development, publishing, etc.)
I haven’t made any statistics of course but I feel this boils down to about 20% acquiring information, 30% communication and 50% creating content or at least this is probably what your employer wants you to do. Basically that would mean you only spent maximum of 20% of your time with web browsing while of course the web browser might be open in the background all the time.
Windows doesn’t have a 90% market share because it integrates the web but because it has an ecosystem that provides all this other stuff people need to do.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be working on better integration on web applications or the web in general but we must know that our target audience is most likely not the professional desktop. There are reasons why many people have a MacBook but work with Windows in their company. There are reasons why people use their iPhone for web stuff only but still have a Windows PC at home. It is because besides all the cloud discussion taking place nearly nobody is creating content with web applications that isn’t made for the purpose of web publication.
If you have statistics, prove me wrong, please! Maybe the company I am working at is totally unrepresentative…
Update: Many peopple comment that they use GMail and Google Office Apps for their work. I doubt that this is general true. Most people reading my blog (or more likely Planet GNOME) are probably geeks or working in a very computer oriented environment.
However, I didn’t look at what apps I am using most but what the people I work with in an engeering department use most. They usually have about 5-20 windows open at a time where the browser is one of them while the work in Microsoft Word or Excel most of the time.
Maybe there are also big differences between Europe and other parts of the world because people and companys here are caring about privacy and data security a lot and therefore don’t move their important data and mail into the cloud and therefore aren’t using Google Apps.
I also really wonder if you all use the web browser for programming. I have never seen someone using a browser based Eclipse, Emacs or Vim even on very geeky conferences. And if programming is your job I certainly hope this is where you spent most of your time.