Back in the heyday of the desktop PC, people used to spend a lot of time wondering what would be the next killer app.
The killer app label couldn’t be bestowed upon just any popular application. The term referred specifically to those applications that were so popular AND hardware intensive that people would upgrade to the newest technology in order to access them.
Solitaire was popular. Netscape Navigator, Microsoft Office, and Windows 98 were killer apps.
Being unable to access the world wide web or taking 5 minutes to open a Word document would justify spending $2000-3000 on a new computer. Remember, this was back in the day when you bought software in a box from CompUSA, and stamped on the side of that box was a set of hardware requirements.
For all the popularity of the term, a quick google search reveals surprisingly little consensus with regard to actual examples. In many cases games were the real impetus for upgrades.
Cut to the present day and the situation has only become more muddled. With the rise of mobile devices, upgrade cycles have been driven increasingly by the harder itself: larger screens, sleeker designs, sharper cameras, and so on. Hold on to this point…we will return to it in a few minutes.Continue Reading