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"Software" redirects here. For other uses, see Software (disambiguation).
Computer software, or just software, is a collection of computer programs and related data that provide the instructions for telling a computer what to do and how to do it. In other words, software is a conceptual entity which is a set of computer programs, procedures, and associated documentation concerned with the operation of a data processing system. We can also say software refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of the computer for some purposes. In other words software is a set of programs, ...view middle of the document...
Today[when?] large[quantify] applications running on remote machines such as Websites are considered[by whom?] to be system software, because the end-user interface is generally through a graphical user interface, such as a web browser.
* Teachware is any special breed of software or other means of product dedicated to education purposes in software engineering and beyond in general education.
* Testware is any software for testing hardware or a software package.
* Firmware is low-level software often stored on electrically programmable memory devices. Firmware is given its name because it is treated like hardware and run ("executed") by other software programs. Firmware often is not accessible for change by other entities but the developers' enterprises.
* Shrinkware is the older name given to consumer-purchased software, because it was often sold in retail stores in a shrink-wrapped box.
* Device drivers control parts of computers such as disk drives, printers, CD drives, or computer monitors.
* Programming tools help conduct computing tasks in any category listed above. For programmers, these could be tools for debugging or reverse engineering older legacy systems in order to check source code compatibility.
Contents[hide] * 1 History * 2 Overview * 3 Types of software * 3.1 System software * 3.2 Programming software * 3.3 Application software * 4 Software topics * 4.1 Architecture * 4.2 Documentation * 4.3 Library * 4.4 Standard * 4.5 Execution * 4.6 Quality and reliability * 4.7 License * 4.8 Patents * 5 Design and implementation * 6 Industry and organizations * 7 See also * 8 References * 9 External links |
For the history prior to 1946, see History of computing hardware.
The first theory about software was proposed by Alan Turing in his 1935 essay Computable numbers with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem (Decision problem). The term "software" was first used in print by John W. Tukey in 1958. Colloquially, the term is often used to mean application software. In computer science and software engineering, software is all information processed by computer system, programs and data. The academic fields studying software are computer science and software engineering.
The history of computer software is most often traced back to the first software bug in 1946. As more and more programs enter the realm of firmware, and the hardware itself becomes smaller, cheaper and faster as predicted by Moore's law, elements of computing first considered to be software, join the ranks of hardware. Most hardware companies today have more software programmers on the payroll than hardware designers, since software tools have automated many tasks of Printed circuit board engineers. Just like the Auto industry, the Software industry has grown from a few visionaries operating out of...