Has Microsoft gone too far with web apps on Windows 11?

Windows 11 Widgets Hero
Windows 11 Widgets Hero (Image credit: Windows Central)

Many elements of Windows 11 are powered by the web, including the entire widgets panel. Additionally, several of Microsoft's first-party apps are web apps, such as Clipchamp and the Teams Chat experience that's built into Windows 11. While web-powered components are growing in popularity, especially at Microsoft, they have critics. Many point to high RAM usage and slow performance as reasons that Microsoft should stick with native apps instead.

In this week's poll, we want to know if you're happy with the direction Microsoft has taken in this regard. The poll was inspired by a discussion sparked on Twitter earlier this month when our executive editor mentioned web apps.

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Web apps provide several benefits, such as unified development across platforms. They also have drawbacks, such as higher RAM usage. Some, such as Twitter, feel native and perform smoothly. Twitter updates its web app frequently, which means that Windows users don't have to wait for a platform-specific update to get new features.

On the other side of the coin, there are programs like Microsoft Whiteboard. When Microsoft converted Whiteboard to a web app, performance got significantly worse. Microsoft Whiteboard has a 2.8-star rating in the Microsoft Store and several reviews mention poor performance.

In our testing, the pen latency on the web app version of Whiteboard is noticeably worse than the previous version. The new Whiteboard drew so much negative feedback that Microsoft announced that it would revert to the previous version.

What do you think of web apps and web-based components in Windows 11? Let us know in this week's poll and in the comments below.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.