"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." – Albert Einstein


About computer and software!

Computer software is so called to distinguish it from computer hardware, which encompasses the physical interconnections and devices required to store and execute (or run) the software. In computers, software is loaded into RAM and executed in the central processing unit. At the lowest level, software consists of a machine language specific to an individual processor. A machine language consists of groups of binary values signifying processor instructions which change the state of the computer from its preceding state. Software is an ordered sequence of instructions for changing the state of the computer hardware in a particular sequence. It is usually written in high-level programming languages that are easier and more efficient for humans to use (closer to natural language) than machine language. High-level languages are compiled or interpreted into machine language object code. Software may also be written in an assembly language, essentially, a mnemonic representation of a machine language using a natural language alphabet. Assembly language must be assembled into object code via an assembler.

The term “software” was first used in this sense by John W. Tukey in 1958. In computer science and software engineering, computer software is all computer programs. The theory that is the basis for most modern software was first proposed by Alan Turing in his 1935 essay Computable numbers with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem.

Practical computer systems divide software systems into three major classes: system software, programming software and application software, although the distinction is arbitrary, and often blurred.

* System software helps run the computer hardware and computer system. It includes operating systems, device drivers, diagnostic tools, servers, windowing systems, utilities and more. The purpose of systems software is to insulate the applications programmer as much as possible from the details of the particular computer complex being used, especially memory and other hardware features, and such as accessory devices as communications, printers, readers, displays, keyboards, etc.

* Programming software usually provides tools to assist a programmer in writing computer programs and software using different programming languages in a more convenient way. The tools include text editors, compilers, interpreters, linkers, debuggers, and so on. An Integrated development environment (IDE) merges those tools into a software bundle, and a programmer may not need to type multiple commands for compiling, interpreting, debugging, tracing, and etc., because the IDE usually has an advanced graphical user interface, or GUI.

* Application software allows end users to accomplish one or more specific (non-computer related) tasks. Typical applications include industrial automation, business software, educational software, medical software, databases, and computer games. Businesses are probably the biggest users of application software, but almost every field of human activity now uses some form of application software

Users often see things differently than programmers. People who use modern general purpose computers (as opposed to embedded systems, analog computers, supercomputers, etc.) usually see three layers of software performing a variety of tasks: platform, application, and user software.

Platform software

Platform includes the firmware, device drivers, an operating system, and typically a graphical user interface which, in total, allow a user to interact with the computer and its peripherals (associated equipment). Platform software often comes bundled with the computer. On a PC you will usually have the ability to change the platform software.

Application software

Application software or Applications are what most people think of when they think of software. Typical examples include office suites and video games. Application software is often purchased separately from computer hardware. Sometimes applications are bundled with the computer, but that does not change the fact that they run as independent applications. Applications are almost always independent programs from the operating system, though they are often tailored for specific platforms. Most users think of compilers, databases, and other “system software” as applications.

User-written software

User software tailors systems to meet the users specific needs. User software include spreadsheet templates, word processor macros, scientific simulations, and scripts for graphics and animations. Even email filters are a kind of user software. Users create this software themselves and often overlook how important it is. Depending on how competently the user-written software has been integrated into purchased application packages, many users may not be aware of the distinction between the purchased packages, and what has been added by fellow co-workers.

Forbes 2000

This yearly list offers 2000 companies active in all kinds of industries. By selecting software & services a sublist can be made, which was 32 companies long in 2007. Forbes offers figures such as sales, profits, assets and market capitalization. Only public companies are listed. The ranking seems to be based upon a multiplication of sales*profits*assets*market capitalization. An extract of the Forbes list is provided below. The Forbes Global 2000 includes the following list of the world’s largest software companies.

Name Country Sales
Market Value
1 54 Microsoft Flag of the United States United States &0000000000000041.36000041.36 &0000000000000013.06000013.06 &0000000000000067.26000067.26 &0000000000000279.020000279.02
2 240 Oracle Flag of the United States United States &0000000000000012.89000012.89 &0000000000000002.8800002.88 &0000000000000019.35000019.35 &0000000000000064.01000064.01
3 248 First Data Flag of the United States United States &0000000000000010.49000010.49 &0000000000000001.5900001.59 &0000000000000034.25000034.25 &0000000000000034.43000034.43
4 381 SAP Flag of Germany Germany &0000000000000010.06000010.06 &0000000000000001.7700001.77 &0000000000000010.43000010.43 &0000000000000063.1.0E+563.10
5 418 Accenture Flag of Bermuda Bermuda &0000000000000017.57000017.57 &0000000000000000.9600000.96 &0000000000000008.1200008.12 &0000000000000027.77000027.77
6 439 Google Flag of the United States United States &0000000000000006.1400006.14 &0000000000000001.4700001.47 &0000000000000010.27000010.27 &0000000000000107.170000107.17
7 473 Yahoo! Flag of the United States United States &0000000000000005.2600005.26 &0000000000000001.9.0E+51.90 &0000000000000010.87000010.87 &0000000000000045.48000045.48
8 499 Computer Sciences Corporation Flag of the United States United States &0000000000000014.61000014.61 &0000000000000000.8500000.85 &0000000000000012.62000012.62 &0000000000000010.12000010.12
9 715 Electronic Data Systems Flag of the United States United States &0000000000000019.76000019.76 &0000000000000000.1500000.15 &0000000000000017.09000017.09 &0000000000000013.84000013.84
10 776 SoftBank Flag of Japan Japan &0000000000000007.8100007.81 !-0.56 &0000000000000015.53000015.53 &0000000000000032.78000032.78
11 948 Symantec Flag of the United States United States &0000000000000003.6200003.62 &0000000000000000.1600000.16 &0000000000000017.68000017.68 &0000000000000017.6.0E+517.60
12 959 CA Flag of the United States United States &0000000000000003.7600003.76 &0000000000000000.2200000.22 &0000000000000010.06000010.06 &0000000000000015.73000015.73
13 993 Fiserv Flag of the United States United States &0000000000000004.0600004.06 &0000000000000000.5200000.52 &0000000000000006.0400006.04 &0000000000000007.7.0E+57.70
14 1010 Affiliated Computer Services Flag of the United States United States &0000000000000004.9400004.94 &0000000000000000.4200000.42 &0000000000000005.3100005.31 &0000000000000007.8600007.86
15 1077 Adobe Systems Flag of the United States United States &0000000000000001.9700001.97 &0000000000000000.6.0E+50.60 &0000000000000002.4400002.44 &0000000000000023.12000023.12
16 1086 Capgemini Group Flag of France France &0000000000000008.2200008.22 &0000000000000000.1700000.17 &0000000000000007.1500007.15 &0000000000000006.5.0E+56.50
17 1215 ASML Holding Flag of the Netherlands Netherlands &0000000000000002.9900002.99 &0000000000000000.3700000.37 &0000000000000004.2.0E+54.20 &0000000000000010.06000010.06
18 1237 Electronic Arts Flag of the United States United States &0000000000000002.8600002.86 &0000000000000000.2600000.26 &0000000000000004.3300004.33 &0000000000000015.75000015.75
19 1343 Advantest Flag of Japan Japan &0000000000000002.2300002.23 &0000000000000000.3600000.36 &0000000000000002.6900002.69 &0000000000000010.7.0E+510.70
20 1366 Intuit Flag of the United States United States &0000000000000002.1800002.18 &0000000000000000.4200000.42 &0000000000000002.6900002.69 &0000000000000008.5400008.54
21 1462 Autodesk Flag of the United States United States &0000000000000001.4600001.46 &0000000000000000.3100000.31 &0000000000000001.3600001.36 &0000000000000008.6400008.64
22 1504 VeriSign Flag of the United States United States &0000000000000001.6100001.61 &0000000000000000.4100000.41 &0000000000000003.1700003.17 &0000000000000005.8300005.83
23 1634 Check Point Software Flag of Israel Israel &0000000000000000.5800000.58 &0000000000000000.3200000.32 &0000000000000002.0900002.09 &0000000000000005.2800005.28
24 1644 DST Systems Flag of the United States United States &0000000000000002.5200002.52 &0000000000000000.4200000.42 &0000000000000002.9300002.93 &0000000000000004.0600004.06
25 1668 The Sage Group Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom &0000000000000001.3700001.37 &0000000000000000.2500000.25 &0000000000000002.6100002.61 &0000000000000006.2400006.24
26 1721 Dassault Systèmes Flag of France France &0000000000000001.1200001.12 &0000000000000000.2200000.22 &0000000000000001.6700001.67 &0000000000000006.3500006.35
27 1747 CSK Flag of Japan Japan &0000000000000002.9900002.99 &0000000000000000.3100000.31 &0000000000000004.1600004.16 &0000000000000003.3900003.39
28 1859 Akamai Technologies Flag of the United States United States &0000000000000000.2800000.28 &0000000000000000.3300000.33 &0000000000000000.8900000.89 &0000000000000003.7.0E+53.70

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