There’s a problem with desktop virtualization on smartphones and tablets: Desktop applications were never meant for mobile use.

Legacy applications, built for a PC with a physical keyboard and mouse, are still critical to today’s businesses. The experience of using them on a touchscreen device, however tends to be extremely clunky. Application refactoring attempts to solve that problem by reformatting and optimizing desktop apps for mobile.

Refactoring should be a familiar term to those in the developer community; it refers to the process of improving software coding and design without changing its intended functions. The new stock of application refactoring vendors — which includes Capriza, PowWow, Reddo Mobility and StarMobile — takes that concept and applies it to legacy software running on modern endpoints.

As an added bonus, application refactoring usually doesn’t require any manual coding, scripting or application development. But with only a few companies vying for attention in the app refactoring market, there’s still a surprising number of different approaches.

Reddo Mobility lets IT pros (or even power users) launch a Windows application and select which of its layouts, buttons and menus to display in an HTML5 Web app with a mobile look and feel.

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