Friday, March 24, 2023

Delphi FMX Desktop Development: Part 1

Question: Is FMX Desktop Development Worth It?

This is part 1 in a series dedicated to Delphi FMX Desktop development. I am in the process of converting an old VCL application to FMX. When I first started playing around with FMX I was excited because one code base could serve up all different platforms; desktop, mobile, tablet. FMX also let's you create Windows, Mac OSX, Android, iPhone apps from that same single code base.

It wasn't until recently that I discovered one code base doesn't easily translate between desktop and mobile. So I am focused solely on creating one desktop code base for Windows and Mac OSX. This is a conscious choice on my part to stay in the desktop market. 

Over the last 32 years I have had several Mac OSX users asking me when I would have a version of my software that would work on their computers. Delphi FMX will let me make this happen. 

This leads to a series of questions:

  • What does the desktop market share look like?
  • How many new Mac customers will this bring me?
  • Is it worth the effort to create a desktop application for both Windows and Mac?
  • How does geographical location influence the decision?

I would like to thank the people at statcounter GlobalStats for providing the information in this post. Visit for more information.

"The Whole World's Gone Mobile!
Forget Desktop Development."

Let's start by looking at the Desktop vs Mobile vs Tablet market share. We are going to look at the past year and then look at the past ten years. This will show the huge growth in the mobile market.

Worldwide 1 Yr Mobile 60% Desktop 40%

Worldwide 10 Yr Mobile 16 → 60% ↑ Desktop 82 → 40% ↓  

Looking at just this one graph you would think it's a waste of time to dive into the desktop market. On a world wide scale the mobile market has completely overtaken the desktop market. At first glance you might think, "Wow, it's not worth going after the desktop market. The whole world has gone mobile." 

"I Might be Ignoring 50% of the Users!"

What about the United States? Does geography play any part in my decision to create a desktop application? After all, the majority of my customers come from the United States.

USA 1 Yr Mobile 46% Desktop 52%

USA 10 Yr Mobile 15 → 46%  Desktop 82 → 52% 

Because the majority of my customers are from the United States, and I'm only concerned with the Desktop market share, what do these numbers tell me?

Today, the Desktop market share in the United States is 52%. This tells me that 5 out of every 10 potential customers are desktop users. This also tells me that mobile use has skyrocketed over the past ten years, and my decision to only focus on desktop might be ignoring almost 50% of the users.

What about my decision to only focus on Windows and Mac OSX customers?

USA 10 Yr Windows 82 → 60% OSX 16 → 30%↑   

Here is what the Desktop Operating System landscape tells me looking at the past ten years. Windows is still the dominant operating system within the USA even though it has dropped 22%. On the other hand Mac OSX has almost doubled it's share of the market.

Overall, the prospects look good to invest some solid time and effort into creating a Desktop application that caters to both Windows and Mac users. As far as how many Mac OSX customers can I expect? 

These numbers tell me I can expect about 5 new Mac OSX customers for every 10 new Windows customers. And that sounds pretty good to me. 

Answer: It's worth it for me!

Use this link for all 32 videos from the Desktop First UX Summit 2021

Semper Fi
Gunny Mike


  1. Well many users (like me) are mixed users, I have a smartphone and a desktop and a laptop and a tablet. I think that most depends on the application target rather than the device or, well, device and target are connected. Just to say: a wallet is usually a mobile App, while word processing is commonly a 'desktop' task. Last but not least we have mixed environments like tablet where we have a 'touch' world but more 'desktop oriented', and today's tablet can be equipped with mouse, keyboard or touchpad and share the same application with desktops (or vice-versa) like iPad Pro and Macbook :)

  2. Better than FMX would be a web app, no platform problem!