Click-to-Run Software

Sat, Nov 7, 2009 2-minute read

With Microsoft launching a click-to-run version of Microsoft Office 2010, I can’t help but think what a great idea it is. Many applications are moving to the web and I do see the web as the future of software development, but I think there is still a need for traditional applications written in a compiled language.

Click-to-run works by a user clicking on a website link, which then runs an small program to download the latest version of the application. When that’s completed the application starts up for the user. With no install process and no worrying if an existing version of Office is already installed, it’s quite a nice scenario for the user.

The application download process definitely seems to be the worst part of click-to-run at the moment. On average it will take about 5 minutes to download the application, but that can certainly be improved.

While similar, Office 2010 doesn’t compare to Google Office. Yes the online office suite from Google does 95% of things you’ll ever need, but the last few percentage points have some critical features that are required in the workplace.

Aside from an office suite, I can see computer game demos as being prime click-to-run software. Software publisher could also use it to allow customers to try before you buy. This has rarely been said over the last few years, but hopefully other companies take a cue from Microsoft in this area.