Digging into Survey: Desktop Applications

Last week we took a deeper look at mobile device preferences, and wondered if lawyers will eventually just use mobile devices like smart phones and tablets. And as we observed last year, as cloud computing was on the rise, there are still apps that reside on the desktop. 

Let’s take a took at the last couple of years:


Microsoft Office has been the lawyer’s work horse for documents, so it was of little surprise it garnered the majority of votes. You’ll notice, in 2010, there were no cloud computing options.  Fast-forward to 2011:

The most obvious addition is Evernote, which has a desktop app, a mobile app and is accessible through any Web browser. Microsoft Office saw a slight increase, and for the first time, OpenOffice burst onto the scene. There was speculation that open source applications would grab a foot hold in the legal profession as more new graduates hung their shingles on shoe string budgets. 

Now, the results from 2012:

Everything but Evernote and Microsoft Office saw a decrease. Curious, though perhaps not surprising. Microsoft Office continues to be the dominate workhorse of the legal profession, but it is curious that Evernote is creeping up in usage. Evernote is also a cloud-based application, and it syncs across devices. Microsoft Office does not, though with the launch of Office 365, that is changing.

Is it time for desktop applications to become obsolete? Or will they remain, but be more like Evernote and sync across devices instead of remaining on your desktop and shared through another application, such as Box or Dropbox?