Harald Kjølberg

Dude, desktop applications are so last decade!

Published Thursday March 21st, 2019
15 Comments on Dude, desktop applications are so last decade!
Posted in Biz Circuit & Dev Loop, Uncategorized

Desktop applications may not be the future. In the future, we will put on those goggely thingies and immerse ourselves in a digital world of wonder. A world entirely hosted on servers in safe locations. Servers owned and operated by benevolent companies not at all interested in our private lives. The bandwidth between our goggely thingies and the cloud is unlimited. The connection never breaks down and the data transfer is instant. In this future, there are no malicious hackers lurking around. Safety is intrinsic and absolute. Certainly this is the future, but currently, it remains the future.

Every day, millions of users around the globe depend on desktop applications in order to do their job. Applications controlling systems for electrical power, water, renovation and banking services – just to name a few. We all depend on desktop applications, though we all tend to live more and more in the cloud. There is a multitude of reasons for building desktops applications. Security, control, stability, complexity and network access are just a few of them.

Desktop applications may not be the future, but they are for sure a large part of the present. Desktop applications will not vanish overnight, they will evolve and adapt to the changing needs. While the future remains the future, Qt will be here to support you in creating the desktop applications of tomorrow.

With this in mind, I invite you to have a look at some of the latest success stories written with Qt:

If you’d like to hear more, join me for a live and interactive webinar where I will talk about new and upcoming helpful features, developer experience improvements, and answer your questions related to the present and future of Qt for desktop targets.

Webinar: Desktop Applications in 2019 – The Qt Perspective. Apr 11, 2019 (2pm CEST) Webinar: Desktop Applications in 2019 – The Qt Perspective. Apr 11, 2019 (2pm EDT)



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Posted in Biz Circuit & Dev Loop, Uncategorized


Alex says:


Johannes Lochmann says:

Amen to that, too… And don’t forget legal regulations, for that matter, too…

David Porter says:


Stan says:

I’m a desktop apps user. But, WAKE UP, there is whole generation of users that uses just smartphones and tablets that is coming up. Almost every year I must (company provider or policy change) switch one of a desktop app for a web app. Learn from lessens of Microsoft, millions of users didn’t help Windows. Why Windows Subsystem for Linux, why? Where is Windows Mobile? Answer is, because thousands of creators are more important.

jason says:

Kids’ experiences in formal education are with tablets and chrome books, and the tablet experience is rated higher than the chromebook experience by them.

It’s really sad that Qt’s mobile support lags _so_ much from where it could be. Mobile features haven’t really changed in 5 years but Qt fails to ship a notification engine, solid multimedia, etc.

Tham says:

They put more efforts into Qt for python, right now our best bet is Felgo.

AlGrenadine says:

Yes felgo takes the road Qt should have taken IMHO…


Most certainly not.

WIth the big waste of precious metals caused by the invasion of mobiles that break easily and are not recycled, the next decades will see a return of reliable, rock solid desktop (maybe laptops) computers.

The future is low tech, dude.

jason says:

No. There is an effort for near-total reclamation of phones. As long as you don’t throw yours in the actual trash, trading it in will make sure that maximal value is extracted down to the usable components before being written off as scrap metal. Yes, there was an initial churn when the phones first came out and everyone wanted the next version every 6 months, but nowadays, phones last for years. My Nexus 6 turns 5 in November. I still use it. There are kiosks at some Walmarts where they will give you cash for your aged phone.

My prediction is that VR will take off because you won’t be limited to a 24″ screen in front of you. You’ll have a sphere of virtual displays, of effectively infinite size.

Ionut Dediu says:

Qt could be HUGE! I am so fed up with JavaScript on web programming, QML could replace it with help from wasm. Qt3D could make it big in gaming etc. But all you promote is automotive, which for sure is not the future, we can’t choke the Earth in motorways and parkings etc… Meanwhile you don’t even provide a tree or a tableview control….Such wasted potential…

Yori says:

Totally agree! QML is superb UI technology and it can be used everywhere – for Desktop, for mobile phone, for embedded. It can be perfectly integrated in any game engine. It has a tremendous potential. Unfortunaly the lack of advertisement and good tutorials is a major issue.

bnogal says:

I can’t wait for the web browser web app running on a web operating system to run someone else code web app all together with web app plugins to process my cloud stored personal data.

Oliver Knoll says:

Oh, how that just gets me started whenever I am offered to download an “app” from some website, just to quickly realise after launching it up on my mobile phone that it is the exact same 1:1 “webbish app” that I have just seen on that very website I have downloaded it from… grrr…. 🙂

No native “look and feel”, no extra comfort functionality which would make use of native APIs (except maybe some “web APIs” which read out and track my GPS location for that “app”), no “yes! THAT’S an application” feeling.

But maybe I am just old 🙂

beeka says:

I am happy for Qt to find niches such as embedded and automotive that can bring in the money and support development, however they hold no interest for me. The motivation for Qt was to move away from a mix of MFC & Motif applications to cross-platform solutions. I work on a complex system with a wide range of technologies running on some powerful machines. Moving this to a single mobile application isn’t going to happen, so I am pleased to see that the desktop is not being forgotten.

Some practical additions / tutorials to smooth the move to mobile (where feasible) would be helpful. I am thinking of making the widgets align with the sort of controls we are used on the web and mobile apps (e.g. min/max range slider with a native feel). Guides and tools to make it simpler for ‘experienced’ developers (read stuck in the ways they know) to embrace the mobile technologies: can a .ui file be converted in to a QML controls framework; can Qt Creator help populate properties from signals / slots / accessors – I’ve never needed the Q_PROPERTY() macro previously.

david says:

Dart & flutter, check it out, it the future, they will be releasing the web side (hummingbird) likely at google i/o this year. If you want to know where to put your resources, that’s where.

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