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5 Benefits of Running Windows Applications in the Browser

December 14, 2020
By Robb Henshaw

Global spending on digital transformation (DX) is estimated to have risen just over 10% this year, reaching a high of $1.3 trillion. Some of that increase is certainly a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw many companies scrambling to support their work-from-home (WFH) employees through virtual app delivery and cloud-based software. But DX was already gaining momentum prior to 2020 due to a wider trend toward more flexible solutions.Image for a Cameyo blog post about the benefits of running apps in the browser

With all that spending on DX, you'd think that most companies would be trumpeting their success. However, prior to the pandemic surveys were indicating that seven out of ten digital transformation initiatives had fallen short of expectations.

Those less than stellar results could be chalked up to a number of factors. An important one is the fact that legacy Windows apps are such a hard habit to break. Even though many organizations still rely on older software for business-critical tasks, anything described as "legacy" is often seen as an insurmountable hurdle to a comprehensive DX initiative.

Bridging the DX gap - Run Windows applications in the browser

The truth is, legacy Windows applications can be modernized. And with zero redevelopment time to boot. It just depends on how they're delivered. Running Windows apps from the browser is the ideal way to give users access to tried-and-tested software via a secure, up-to-date, multi-platform client.

Here are five reasons why running Windows apps in the browser makes sense—whether it's part of a dedicated DX strategy, your long-term remote work strategy, or some other initiative:

  1. To reduce complexity. With the permanent shift to remote work, IT needs to give end users access to important apps regardless of where those users are or which device they’re working on, even if it's not a company-issued device. Virtual app delivery makes it much easier to provision and update apps in one location rather than having to maintain locally installed apps on thousands of devices.
  2. To lower costs. Delivering virtual apps through the browser takes existing, proven solutions and makes them available to current-gen devices. With the right virtual app delivery platform, there's no need to invest in untested new software, expensive virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) or time-consuming provisioning methods.
  3. To increase security. Running Windows applications in the browser has the potential to be much more secure than similar alternatives. Its simplicity actually leaves fewer gaps for malicious actors to exploit. By eliminating the need for VPNs and open RDP ports, it can reduce the attack surface for remote workers. And by keeping the user device separate from the corporate network, it helps to augment strict Zero Trust security models.
  4. To boost productivity. Another benefit of browser-based delivery of legacy Windows apps is that it caters to the dynamic nature of remote work. If an end user switches to a different device in a new location, they still have secure access to the apps they need. They can maintain their usual workflow without missing a beat. But virtual app delivery is also great news for IT. The built-in security and ease of administration means overworked IT staff can refocus on more pressing issues.
  5. To enhance the user experience. When users are running Windows applications in a browser, they get the exact same desktop version of the application they’re used to. The only difference is that the application launches in a browser tab, instead of as a locally-installed app. Because there's no learning curve and no VPNs to negotiate, it's incredibly transparent to the end user. It's also ultra-versatile, because it means critical apps—even legacy ones—are now available on any device with a browser.

Make legacy Windows apps part of your digital transformation

Even when your end users are working remotely on personal devices, Cameyo's virtual app delivery platform gives them convenient, secure access to their familiar desktop-class software at a fraction of the cost of VDI. And with none of the usual drawbacks.

Get started with a free trial of Cameyo today and discover how quick and easy it is for your end users to run Windows apps right from their browsers. Instead of viewing legacy software as a compromise to your company's DX, you'll see how those solutions can become an integral part of it.