There’s a lot of talk about how web apps and the cloud are heralding a new age of computing, but for the forseeable future many people are still going to be relying heavily on desktop software — especially as operating systems start to bake in their own App Stores. And while desktop apps may offer advantages in terms of performance and user experience, in some ways web apps are actually better for developers — it’s much easier to track how people are using your application and iterate accordingly.
That’s where DeskMetrics comes in. The Brazilian startup, which launches today to the public, offers developers a set of components that will allow them to analyze how their desktop applications are being used, down to each click. This means developers can analyze which buttons users are clicking, how far along in various sign-up flows they’re getting, and more — just like web developers have been doing for years.
To get DeskMetrics working, a developer needs to integrate special native components into their application, which will allow them to track both clicks and when their users are installing, running, or — heaven forbid — uninstalling their application. All of this data can be followed from the DeskMetrics web interface, which updates in real-time and also features geo-mapping so you can see where in the world your app is taking off.
DeskMetrics isn’t the first company to tackle this problem. Founder Bernardo Porto says that competitors include Eqatec and PreEmptive Solutions’ Runtime Intelligence. But he says that DeskMetrics differentiates itself in a few ways. First, he says that DeskMetrics has support for more programming languages, including C, C++, Delphi, Visual Basic, and .NET (C#) (he says the competitors only support .NET). He also says that DeskMetrics is the only one of the three that reports data back in real-time.
Pricing is based on how many applications a developer is tracking and how frequently they’re used. A basic startup plan runs $49/month for one app and 20,000 sessions, and a premium plan goes for $669/month for 10 apps and 1 million sessions (there are a few price points between those).
I’m still a bit skeptical about how much real-time matters in this case — after all, developers can’t iterate on desktop software nearly as quickly as they can on the web. But the company has the endorsement of OpenCandy cofounder Chester Ng, who says that this was actually a problem OpenCandy wanted to solve early on (they provide add-on installs for desktop software) but haven’t gotten around to it yet — and they say DeskMetrics is the best solution that’s currently available.