Apps vs programs

maybe

Well-Known Member
#1
I tend to use "app" to refer to the metro apps and "program" to refer to things like excel or Word. But in W10 menus, "app" seems to refer to both which I find confusing. Why the blurring of the distinction?
Thanks.
 


ussnorway

Windows Forum Team
Staff member
Premium Supporter
#2
Because the new excel and word are apps (not programs)... the difference is becoming less now days and most people would find having both apps and programs on the list too hard for their limited minds to grasp according to Microsoft.
 


davehc

Essential Member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
#3
You could google for ever, and not find two similar answers to your query.
As far as I am concerned, they are one and the same, too old (limited mind, lol) to learn new tricks, I call them all programs - or even software.. But my instinct is to regard Apps as something one mainly uses on portable devices such as smartphones and tablets.

There is a side issue, right or wrong. new users today have a tendency to call the stuff downloaded from the store as an App, or even as a Metro(MS will give you an extra definition for those!). being a sarcastic sob, I still stick to the discipline of calling the Paris underground a Metro.
 


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maybe

Well-Known Member
#4
Because the new excel and word are apps (not programs)... the difference is becoming less now days and most people would find having both apps and programs on the list too hard for their limited minds to grasp according to Microsoft.
I always assumed it was an artificial distinction based on apps being much smaller than full blown programs and, because of size, apps were on phones and tablets while programs needed large disks to install into. But I had forgotten that with the ever accelerating push to the cloud even Word and Excel have now shrunk to become apps.... (I "think". I still use the older versions).

Well, the distinction was always artificial and Microsoft would obviously like to blur any difference between the Metro apps and the full scale programs. Guess I'm just old and cranky.
 


patcooke

Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
#5
As an oldy I reckon they are one and the same thing - software has traditionally been classified as either system, utilities and applications. They are all software written by programmers (there is no such person as an "apper"!) and the full term for applications is applications programs. This has become abbreviated to "apps" (I suspect because it sounds more trendy than applications programs or applications software). The differentiation on the basis of size doesn't apply either as small applications were originally called applets (and I have yet to meet anyone calling themselves an appleter. I was and remain a programmer.
 


maybe

Well-Known Member
#6
;)
 


bochane

Honorable Member
#7
Are not programs accessable by all users on a computer and Apps only by the users which have bought /payed for them?
Hence one user on a computer may have access to Office, an other user on the same computer may have no access.
 


Joe S

Excellent Member
#8
I think most programs give the choice of all users or just the user account from the install.
Joe
 


bochane

Honorable Member
#9
I think most programs give the choice of all users or just the user account from the install.
Joe
Is not it your choise at the time of installing programs, but for Apps enforced by the App provider out of your control?
 


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spydah

Well-Known Member
#10
I agree with those people who say that the distinction between apps and programs has become blurred, but there are some apps which most definitely aren't programs in the traditional sense. A classic example comes from the financial institutions. You can download an app which allows you to access your bank account and perform basic functions. It's an alternative to the bank's website, even though it doesn't usually contain the full functionality of the website. There's no equivalent traditional program which performs these functions.
 


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