Synthetic Monitoring

Simulate visitor interaction with your site to monitor the end user experience.

View Product Info


Simulate visitor interaction

Identify bottlenecks and speed up your website.

Learn More

Real User Monitoring

Enhance your site performance with data from actual site visitors

View Product Info


Real user insights in real time

Know how your site or web app is performing with real user insights

Learn More

Infrastructure Monitoring Powered by SolarWinds AppOptics

Instant visibility into servers, virtual hosts, and containerized environments

View Infrastructure Monitoring Info

Comprehensive set of turnkey infrastructure integrations

Including dozens of AWS and Azure services, container orchestrations like Docker and Kubernetes, and more 

Learn More

Application Performance Monitoring Powered by SolarWinds AppOptics

Comprehensive, full-stack visibility, and troubleshooting

View Application Performance Monitoring Info

Complete visibility into application issues

Pinpoint the root cause down to a poor-performing line of code

Learn More

Log Management and Analytics Powered by SolarWinds Loggly

Integrated, cost-effective, hosted, and scalable full-stack, multi-source log management

 View Log Management and Analytics Info

Collect, search, and analyze log data

Quickly jump into the relevant logs to accelerate troubleshooting

Learn More

Our desktops are ruled by dinosaurs

DinosaurThink about the software you use day to day. Depending on your profession and interests, what you use will vary, but some applications tend to show up over and over again. Microsoft Word and Excel, Powerpoint, Photoshop, various web browsers like Internet Explorer and Firefox, Skype, iTunes, and so on.

When it comes to those widely used, highly established desktop applications, think about how long it’s been since they first saw the light of day. Many of them are practically ancient.

To give you a taste of how old they actually are, we selected a sample of 12 popular desktop applications: Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Photoshop, Internet Explorer, Opera, MSN (Live) Messenger, iTunes,, Safari, Skype, Firefox, and Chrome.

So how long have these applications been around? We rounded up to the nearest full year:

Age of desktop software

Quick observations:

  • The oldest of the bunch, Microsoft Word, has been around for 27 years.
  • Four of the apps above have been around for more than 20 years.
  • More than half have been around for over a decade.
  • Only one has been around less than 5 years.

This is a small sample and isn’t meant as a deep statistical analysis. We just wanted to show that when it comes to widely-used, installed software (ignoring operating systems and web apps), most of the more popular applications have been around for a very long time.

The point is: There are very few new big hitters.

Mindshare domination

Today’s most established software applications have the benefit of having been around and continuously developed for many, many years. It can be pretty hard for newcomers to compete with the vast feature sets and the enormous mindshare these applications have accumulated. Creating a new Photoshop wouldn’t be easy.

If you look at operating systems it’s even worse. Even the relatively modern Mac OS X has strong ties back to good old BSD Unix and NeXT. Try launching a brand new operating system today… Good luck.

All this doesn’t mean that new applications aren’t successfully invading people’s desktops. Dropbox is a recent example of an app that is becoming quite popular. Google’s Chrome browser is another one. In less than two years Chrome has passed Apple’s Safari in terms of market share. Interestingly, both Dropbox and Chrome are tied to the web.

Which leads us to another question.

Installed apps vs. web apps

You can’t help but wonder if much of today’s innovation is simply happening online instead of on the desktop and if that is one of the reasons why our most popular desktop applications are so old. Developers are choosing to develop for a platform that is automatically cross platform (the web).

And there’s another huge upside to using the web as your platform: users don’t have to install anything. This makes the threshold for starting to use an application much lower, which makes it easier for new applications to gain users.

Could it be that the shift to running more apps online will prove to be the proverbial meteorite that finally wipes out the domination of the old desktop application dinosaurs…?

Photo credit: T-Rex by Scott Kinmartin.

The Pingdom Guide to the Internet

By Rachel Frnka We may be biased, but we think we’ve had some great blogs [...]

end user data
Extend Your APM Capabilities With End-User Data

In the internet-driven economy, businesses rely on applications for different f [...]

Troubleshooting End-User Issues With a DEM Tool

In the last decade, businesses have made massive investments in the digital eco [...]

Proactive End User Monitoring
A Riddle, a Sale, and the Importance of Proactive End-User Monitoring

By Rachel Frnka Finally, the days are getting longer, the sun is heating up, [...]

End-User Monitoring for IT Operations Monitoring

By Rachel Frnka I’ll be the first to admit one of my weaknesses is public [...]

Monitor your website’s uptime and performance

With Pingdom's website monitoring you are always the first to know when your site is in trouble, and as a result you are making the Internet faster and more reliable. Nice, huh?



Gain availability and performance insights with Pingdom – a comprehensive web application performance and digital experience monitoring tool.

Start monitoring for free