Has Microsoft gone too far with web apps on Windows 11?
Many elements of Windows 11 are powered by the web, including the entire widget panel. Additionally, several of Microsoft’s proprietary apps are web apps, such as Clipchamp and the Teams Chat experience built into Windows 11. As web components grow in popularity, especially at Microsoft, they have some criticism. Many cite high RAM usage and slow performance as reasons why Microsoft should stick to native apps instead.
In this week’s poll, we want to know if you’re happy with the direction Microsoft has taken in this regard. The poll was inspired by a discussion sparked on Twitter earlier this month when our editor mentioned web apps.
Ok, enjoy widgets taking up 300MB of RAM, in-OS chat which should be extremely fast and lightweight, taking a ridiculous amount of resources and time to run, compared to the WhatsApp beta by example, or a photo app editor using 700MB of RAM and I could go over and over again… ENJOY/SOk enjoy widgets taking up 300MB of RAM, OS built-in chat which should be super fast and light taking a ridiculous amount of resources and time to run compared to whatsapp beta for example or photo app editor using 700mb ram and i could go on and on and again… ENJOY /S— Stop Bad Press (@Stop_Bad_Press) April 16, 2022April 16, 2022
Web applications offer several advantages, such as unified development across all platforms. They also have drawbacks, such as higher RAM usage. Some, like Twitter, feel native and work well. Twitter updates its web app frequently, which means Windows users don’t have to wait for a platform-specific update to get new features.
On the other side of the coin, there are programs like Microsoft Whiteboard. When Microsoft converted Whiteboard to a web application, performance deteriorated significantly. Microsoft Whiteboard has a 2.8 star rating in the Microsoft Store and several reviewers mention poor performance.
In our tests, pen latency on the web app version of Whiteboard is significantly lower than the previous version. The new Whiteboard received so much negative feedback that Microsoft announced it would revert to the previous version.
What do you think of Web Apps and Web Components in Windows 11? Let us know in this week’s poll and in the comments below.