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Killer Application

Definition

In marketing terminology, a killer application is any computer program that is so necessary or desirable that it proves the core value of some larger technology, such as computer hardware, a gaming console, software, a programming language, a software platform, or an operating system. In other words, consumers would buy the hardware just to run that application. A killer app can substantially increase sales of the platform on which it runs.

What is 'Killer Application'

A software package that is novel and desirable enough to persuade a consumer to buy pricier hardware in order to run the application. The term "killer application" may be derived from the fact that such an application is perceived to be innovative enough to overcome the competition.


Better known as "killer app."

Explaining 'Killer Application'

Word-processing software and spreadsheets were widely considered to be the killer apps of the 1980s, when personal computers started getting popular. Similarly, Internet browsers and webmail were the killer apps that fueled the online and dotcom boom of the 1990s.

Killer apps are instrumental in driving rapid growth in sales of the platform on which they are based. While some companies that develop killer apps can enjoy substantial margins and profits for many years, this competitive advantage does not last for long for most companies in the dynamic world of technology, where short product life cycles are the norm rather than the exception.





Further Reading


The search for the “killer application”: Drawing the boundaries around the sonification of scientific data
www.oxfordhandbooks.com [PDF]
… and Finance: Business Economics; Econometrics, Experimental and Quantitative Methods; Economic Development; Economic History; Economic Theory and Mathematical Models; Environmental, Agricultural, and Natural Resources Economics; Financial Economics; Health …

Hype, hope and hubris: the quest for the killer application in microfluidicsHype, hope and hubris: the quest for the killer application in microfluidics
pubs.rsc.org [PDF]
… and Finance: Business Economics; Econometrics, Experimental and Quantitative Methods; Economic Development; Economic History; Economic Theory and Mathematical Models; Environmental, Agricultural, and Natural Resources Economics; Financial Economics; Health …

Video on Demand: Killer App or Siren's SongVideo on Demand: Killer App or Siren's Song
link.springer.com [PDF]
… and Finance: Business Economics; Econometrics, Experimental and Quantitative Methods; Economic Development; Economic History; Economic Theory and Mathematical Models; Environmental, Agricultural, and Natural Resources Economics; Financial Economics; Health …

The economics of tail events with an application to climate changeThe economics of tail events with an application to climate change
academic.oup.com [PDF]
… and Finance: Business Economics; Econometrics, Experimental and Quantitative Methods; Economic Development; Economic History; Economic Theory and Mathematical Models; Environmental, Agricultural, and Natural Resources Economics; Financial Economics; Health …

Foreign direct investment and economic transition: Panacea or pain killer?Foreign direct investment and economic transition: Panacea or pain killer?
www.tandfonline.com [PDF]
… and Finance: Business Economics; Econometrics, Experimental and Quantitative Methods; Economic Development; Economic History; Economic Theory and Mathematical Models; Environmental, Agricultural, and Natural Resources Economics; Financial Economics; Health …

The recording that never wanted to be heard and other stories of sonificationThe recording that never wanted to be heard and other stories of sonification
www.oxfordhandbooks.com [PDF]
… and Finance: Business Economics; Econometrics, Experimental and Quantitative Methods; Economic Development; Economic History; Economic Theory and Mathematical Models; Environmental, Agricultural, and Natural Resources Economics; Financial Economics; Health …

The killer application that may eat its siblingsThe killer application that may eat its siblings
go.gale.com [PDF]
… and Finance: Business Economics; Econometrics, Experimental and Quantitative Methods; Economic Development; Economic History; Economic Theory and Mathematical Models; Environmental, Agricultural, and Natural Resources Economics; Financial Economics; Health …

A proposed model for mobile commerce applications in the financial services industry: A catalyst for the African economic renaissanceA proposed model for mobile commerce applications in the financial services industry: A catalyst for the African economic renaissance
ieeexplore.ieee.org [PDF]
… and Finance: Business Economics; Econometrics, Experimental and Quantitative Methods; Economic Development; Economic History; Economic Theory and Mathematical Models; Environmental, Agricultural, and Natural Resources Economics; Financial Economics; Health …



Q&A About Killer Application


What is a killer application?

A software package that is novel and desirable enough to persuade a consumer to buy pricier hardware in order to run the application.

When was VisiCalc released?

VisiCalc was first released in 1979.

What does it mean for an application to be considered innovative?

Innovative means new or different, especially in a way that is useful or interesting.

What does a killer app do?

A killer app does something that, for a while at least, can only be done on that machine.

Who developed VisiCalc?

Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston developed VisiCalc.

Are there any other meanings of the word "innovative"?

Yes, another meaning of innovative is creative or original. This word can also mean having new ideas and being open-minded about change. It can also mean using technology in unique ways.

What are some examples of innovative applications?

Word-processing software and spreadsheets were widely considered to be the killer apps of 198s when personal computers started getting popular. Similarly, Internet browsers and webmail were the killer apps that fueled online boom of 199s. These applications helped people use their computer systems more effectively than before because they allowed users access information quickly and easily without having to learn how each program worked individually. They made it easier for consumers with little experience with computers to get up and running on them quickly by providing intuitive interfaces which hid many technical details behind simple commands like clicking on icons instead of typing long strings of text into command lines (e.g., DOS). In addition, these applications provided capabilities not previously available at all on personal computers such as full color graphics display (in contrast with black-and-white only) along with sound output capability (in contrast with just monophonic tones), thus making

Where did the name "killer application" come from?

The term "killer app" came from marketing terminology.

Where did the term "killer app" originate from?

The term may be derived from the fact that such an application is perceived to be innovative enough to overcome competition.

How do you define the term "killer app"?

Better known as "killer app."