- Software that runs on Mac, Windows and Linux desktop computers that are set up for use in one place. However, laptops also use desktop software since they run the same operating systems as the less portable desktops do.
- Software that must be installed on your computer. The installation is done from a software CD or from a file that is downloaded online and saved on your computer, then opened by clicking on it once the download completes.
- Desktop software runs as stand alone software. That is, it does not require a web browser or Internet connection to run. This software typically does not require any other desktop software to run, either.
iPad, Android and other types of tablets and mobile devices run software called an app or mobile app. Apps have to be installed on the tablet or smart phone, so they have that much in common with desktop computing, but that's where any similarity ends due to differences in the operating systems on a desktop or laptop computer and a mobile device. Apps typically don't have all the features of desktop software because they have to be limited in size, using all the features would be a hassle on a smaller screen and again, there may be limitations due to the mobile operating system (iOS and Android are operating systems). Unlike computer desktop software, most apps utilize the Internet to some degree, but a small portion are considered to be stand-alone as desktop software is. These mobile apps typically only serve one purpose (a loan calculator, for example) where computer desktop financial and other software have more features than their online and mobile counterparts.
Desktop Personal Finance Software: