We have come a long way in desktop computing in the three decades since the launch of Microsoft’s desktop operating system MS-DOS, or over four decades since the first personal computers came to market. There are tens of millions of Windows applications, hundreds of millions of websites, among which tens of thousands of Software-as-a-Service applications (the modern way to deliver enterprise software). The market for desktop software is large and mature, but by no means stale. In fact, a new wave of desktop developers is entering the arena. The sales of PCs might be in a slump, but the population of desktop developers is growing solidly.
Desktop developers are the engine of this plethora of software activity. They are the subject of this report. We estimate their numbers, their distribution across geographies and platforms, as well as the goals of desktop developers and their means to make money. We also derive estimates of the addressable market for technologies that are used by desktop developers.
Our estimate draws on data from over 40,000 desktop developers in 140+ countries surveyed in 2015 and 2016.
The Desktop Developer Population Forecasts 2017 report comes with a single user license. If you are interested in an enterprise-wide license please contact us.
- How many desktop developers are there in the world?
- Where do desktop developers come from? What’s fuelling their growing number?
- Where are desktop developers located? Which regions are on the rise?
- Which platforms do they use?
- What types of applications are desktop developers increasingly focusing on, and which are they dropping?
- How will the DNA of the desktop developer population - the mix of developer segments - evolve?
- Which 3 revenue models are on the rise in the desktop developer community?
- How big is the addressable market for desktop developer tools and platforms?
To get a full list of this report’s contents and a sample graph, please download the brochure.
We use our solid mobile developer population estimate as an absolute-number anchor point to derive the desktop developer population. In each survey, we ask respondents about their involvement in desktop and mobile development, among other areas. Hence we also know the overlap between these two sectors. Given an estimate for one population, we can estimate the size of the other.
Taking our estimate and forecast of the global desktop developer population as a starting point, we have used survey data to break down the population across regions, platforms, developer segments, revenue models used, and developer tools used. The Developer Economics survey is conducted twice per year. As such, we have rich historical data to draw from. The research in this report draws on data going back to the 9th edition from Q2 2015 - the first edition in which we included desktop developers. Since then, over 40,000 desktop developers from 140+ countries have responded.
For more information about our methodology, please. visit our methodology section