New Survey Shows Use of Web Applications Is Spreading Rapidly

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Over one-third of US computer users already using at least one web application on a regular basis.

Most industry observers talk about 'Web 2.0' applications as something that's coming in the future, but our research showed that some web apps are already spreading rapidly through the PC user base

A new survey of US home computer users shows that the replacement of PC software by websites has already spread far beyond early adopters in the US, with over a third of US home computer owners using at least one web application to replace software that was previously installed on their PC.

"Most industry observers talk about 'Web 2.0' applications as something that's coming in the future, but our research showed that some web apps are already spreading rapidly through the PC user base," said Michael Mace, a principal at Rubicon Consulting. "Most computer users are very practical. They don't care if a software program is installed on their computer or built into a website. If it solves their problems, they'll use it. The barriers to adoption of web applications are very low."

Mace will present findings of the survey at the AJAXworld Conference on Wednesday, September 26, at 10:55 am at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara, California.

The Rubicon Consulting Web applications survey is available at:

Rubicon’s recent research studied more than 2,000 US home PC owners in summer of 2007. Other key findings include:

  •     Adoption of Web applications varies tremendously by category. The most popular web-based applications are currently browser-based e-mail clients and games. Web-based productivity software such as spreadsheets and word processing is being used by only one or two percent of PC users at this time.
  •     Web applications displace traditional application usage. Among people who use web applications, those apps consume about 40% of the user’s total application usage time. So web applications are already displacing traditional application usage for many people.
  •     Security is a looming problem. Fear of security problems is one of the biggest barriers to further adoption of Web applications.
  •     Students are early adopters of web applications. The most active adopters of web applications are college students. More than 50% of undergraduate and grad school students in the survey said they use one or more web apps on a regular basis.

The research has important implications for the software industry. Many traditional software firms believe that web-based competition will grow gradually over a period of several years. But the research shows that the barriers to adoption of web applications are very low. All tech companies should be urgently planning how they will incorporate web-based business models and development practices into their companies.

For event registration go to:

About Michael Mace
Michael is a principal at Rubicon Consulting and a 20-year veteran of some of the tech industry’s toughest battles. Previously Vice-President of Strategic Marketing at PalmSource, Michael helped handset companies and wireless carriers plan new smartphone products and wireless services. He was Chief Competitive Officer and Vice-President of Product Planning at Palm Inc. and spent almost 10 years at Apple in a variety of leadership roles.

You can check out his current thinking on the technology industry by reading his weblog,

About Rubicon Consulting
Rubicon Consulting works with start-up companies and global brands to successfully define new markets, launch products, establish pricing and channel strategies, fight off bigger competitors, and enter new geographies. Clients include Adobe, Cogito, Hewlett-Packard, Riverside, Symantec and VMWare. The firm consults on key technologies including CAD, consumer electronics, graphics and imaging, influencer programs, Internet marketing and commerce, mobile devices, PCs and peripherals, software, storage, telephony, Web 2.0, wireless platforms, and workflow publishing.

See Rubicon Consulting at

For more information, press only:
Marsha Keeffer, Executive Director, (408) 395-3910, marsha at rubiconconsultingDOTcom

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