This is a two part question:
 If there are a number of desktop software products for a platform,
other than menu placement, and branding,
what factors should be considered to provide the same look and feel?
 What technologies can be used to create these for desktop applications?
I suppose it depends on what you mean by branding. In this instance
thinking of the brand as every "touch" between the company and the
consumer might be unhelpfully broad, but there is something to be
said for the look-and-feel to be considered a form of branding in
 I would think that there is a difference between a suite of
products which may/should (?) have similarities across user
interaction controls (text links vs. buttons vs. sliders; use of
wizards rather than single page configurations for tools) and also
the aesthetics of those controls (menus, button stylings, use of
I would see all of the above as part of the "brand" but also
meaningful elements unto themselves which could contribute to the
unified experience you are thinking about.
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Posted from the new ixda.org
Your questions are a little vague and broad. Last year we added and updated several applications, desktop and browser, for our internal use. We considered visual elements, similarity of keyboard shortcuts, labels of data and screen elements, the possibility of sharing data between, etc.
And there is a long list of products that can create desktop software. First question, though, is which desktop OS?