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French Version

The Most Downloaded Program on the Web

Reports about the most downloaded programs on the web are yielding mixed results. For a start, it's expected that a music or file sharing applications, like Kazaa, would be top download because its one of the applications every home, and sometimes office, user wants but doesn't get with the operating system.

The fact that Download.com have recently announced that Kazaa is their top download, at a whopping 230 million shows that it's going to be very difficult, if not impossible, to stop the music swapping through such Peer-to-Peer applications!

Officials at download.com say that Kazaa get an average of 366,000 downloads a day! Kazaa has now beaten the previous Download.com champion, ICQ, which has so far not hit the 230 million mark. It's not far off though, at a little over 229,000,000. Actually, it's quite far-off. A difference of a million downloads is no small gap.

The ICQ figure also shows that hundreds of millions of users around the world want a chat/messenger/communication software and are still downloading ICQ although they get MSN with their operating system!

Apparently, MSN still has much ground to cover to completely replace ICQ; or, alternatively, there are hundreds of millions of users who haven't downloaded ICQ because they've already got MSN. It depends how you look at.

Anyway you look at it, though, it's clear that entertainment and communication applications are the most demanded programs by users worldwide.

It makes you wonder what's the top download by Arab users?

Theoretically, Arab users are no different. If users all over the world download Kazaa, then Arab users probably have that application high on their list too. It's worth looking into what purely Arabic, or Arab-related, programs they download off the web.

For a start, you've got Microsoft Arabic Windows updates, and maybe some specific Arabic plug-ins for programs inside Windows.

But, most users are not 'sophisticated' enough to consider Arabic system upgrades and seek them on the web.

So, maybe the top program downloaded by Arabs is an entertainment program, an Arabic one, that is.

Indications can be provided by top Arab sites, who offer free programs to download. Although they may not be the top downloads by Arab users on the web, they provide a reasonable sample on what typical Arab users download from their favoutire sites. Arabia.com, for example, claim that their music player program, Wanees, was and still is massively popular; being downloaded by thousands of Arab users.

Maktoob also have some impressive statistics on their top download; a messaging software called Mirsal Maktoob, which Maktoob registered users can download. So, there you have it. A music player, and a messaging program.

Not a very scientific conclusion, and maybe this prediction is way off the mark, but if there isn't a scientific study, it could resemble the start.

If Arab users follow, as they have so far, the trend set by users worldwide, then the most downloaded Arabic program will be an Arabized music sharing application like Kazaa. You know, 'Kazaa' actually sounds Arabic. It is a colloquial Arabic word meaning 'this or that', so maybe that's a start for the owners of that product.

Arabize the application, and they will come!

Amman 16-06-2003
Osama Habib

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