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Windows Applications
Windows applications are run on the user’s computer. Programs like Microsoft Word, Excel, and Power Point are Windows applications. They typically have more complex user interface requirements and therefore are usually more expensive than Internet applications.

Windows applications may use, but don’t require, Internet access. They may be designed to run totally alone, or may share information over a local area network. Typically, they do their own data processing, thus requiring less network bandwidth and server resources.

Windows applications used to require more administration in enterprise environments. In the old days (a couple of years ago before Microsoft introduced the .Net framework), Windows applications increased administration cost by requiring more time and/or more complex networks to set up new users and distribute updates. One advantage of the .Net environment is the ability to automatically update Windows applications. This has reduced administration costs and improved productivity.

Windows applications are very effective when:

Users may not have access to the Internet.
Processing needs to be done on the client to reduce required bandwidth.
The user interface is complex and needs controls that are not available with Internet Explorer or one of the other Internet browsers.
A large number of concurrent users would drive up the cost of network resources and web servers. Higher performance is needed (e.g. faster response to user commands).

Single user applications can be developed with Microsoft Office products. Office applications can be developed using Word, Excel, Power Point, or Access. While easy to develop, they are generally limited to one or two users and exhibit significant limitations in an enterprise environment. For enterprise use, a better alternative to a Windows Application is an Internet Application.
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