Desktop vs browser based
Desktop vs browser based

There seems to be a divide between people who are obsessed with utilizing all their office productivity tools in a web browser vs those who want to use a desktop version of an application.

What’s a “Browser” based application?

A clear example is people who favor Outlook Desktop vs something like Gmail.  Gmail typically resides in a browser.  Navigate to your browser whether it be Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Brave, or Edge and type .   A faster way of getting to your “default” web browser is simply clicking on the link I provided above.   This will load your browser and access Gmail.  This known as browser based application as opposed to a desktop application.

What is a “desktop based” application”?

Microsoft is still king of desktop based applications.   For many, they can’t do without their desktop outlook.  However, Microsoft over the years have created strong competition to Google’s Gsuite.  Go no further than to the following URLs to see their browser-based applications of the Office Suite.


While it may appear that you have launched a desktop application, look a little deeper; and you will noticed the application resides in your browser tab.


How do I know my Outlook is a desktop application?

Click the link for the Outlook icon and the application that loads on the task bar at the bottom is not your default browser but actual local instance of your Outlook desktop application

What are other popular applications that remain desktop applications?

Quickbooks Desktop

There is a huge base of bookkeepers that still love the desktop version.  Though, you can see a newer generation of people who never touched the desktop version nor never craved it.


PDF Reader and Editors

Adobe Reader and FoxIt Reader remain a desktop companion til this day.  I have never seen anyone use a browser base version of it.

Password Managers

Having the flexibility of applications that sync from desktop to browser based app to phone app is essential in as password manager. Check out our post on popular password manager software.

Password Management Policy and Keepass Pro – Network Antics


The Difference between Office Online vs Office Desktop Version Summary






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