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Desktop applications (or Standalone apps) are designed to run on single work stations or PCs, so when you are about to test the desktop application you need to put your attention to a specific environment prepared for testing. It is easy to broadly automate a standalone application because of the fact that the test tool has direct access to the tested application. Desktop applications are full-function programs that work independently from other applications and require an operator. For proper functional work, there are required sufficient hardware resources, an application and a set of functions to work with the application. 
Desktop application testing is complicated by the fact that in most cases desktop applications are developed for a certain environment, and therefore the interaction with other parameters of the environment is reduced to zero. For desktop application testing several computers are required with different configurations. Software engineer has full control over the application.