What is a Desktop App?

Basic – Computing

Reading Time – 1 minute, 21 seconds

A desktop application is a software program that can be run on a standalone computer to perform a specific task by an end-user.

Some desktop applications such as word editor and media player allow you to perform different tasks while other such as gaming apps are developed purely for entertainment. When you purchase a computer or a laptop, there is a set of apps that are already installed on your desktop. You can also download and install different desktop applications directly from the Internet or purchased from software vendors.

The examples of some of the popular desktop applications are, word processing applications such as Microsoft Word and WPS Office which are designed to edit the textual content, gaming applications such as Minesweeper and Solitaire which are used for entertainment, web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox which help you to connect to the Internet from your computer, media player applications such as iTunes, Windows Media Player, and VLC media player which let you listen to music, watch videos and movies and create collections of media content.

Characteristics of desktop applications

Now that you know what is a desktop app, here are some of their main characteristics.

  • The desktop applications are developed to run on a specific operating system such as Windows, Mac or Linux.
  • Updates to the desktop applications should be installed by the end-users. The updates may be published through the Internet but the installation is usually a manual process done by the end-user.
  • The desktop applications are designed to run in an isolated environment hence they have fewer security issues.
  • The ability to work without an Internet connection is another common characteristic of desktop applications.

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