Software is a set of instructions, data or programs used to operate computers and execute specific tasks. It is the opposite of hardware, which describes the physical aspects of a computer. Software is a generic term used to refer to applications, scripts and programs that run on a device. It can be thought of as the variable part of a computer, while hardware is the invariable part.

The two main categories of are application and system. An application is software that fulfills a specific need or performs tasks. System software is designed to run a computer’s hardware and provides a platform for applications to run on top of.

Other types include programming, which provides the programming tools that developers need; middleware, which sits between system and applications; and driver, which operates computer devices and peripherals.

Early programs was written for specific computers and sold with the hardware it ran on. In the 1980s, it began to be sold on floppy disks, and later on CDs and DVDs. Today, most are purchased and directly downloaded over the internet. These can be found on vendor websites or application service provider websites.

Over the last two decades, vendors have moved away from selling licenses on a one-time basis to a software-as-a-service subscription model. Vendors host the platform in the cloud and make it available to customers, who pay a subscription fee and access the software over the internet.

Although copyright can prevent others from copying a developer’s code, a copyright cannot stop them from developing the same independently without copying. A patent, on the other hand, enables a developer to prevent another person from using the functional aspects of the software a developer claims in a patent, even if that other person developed the software independently.

Cackle Telecommunications is proud to provide software to NZ businesses. Choose from a selection of vendors, explore our products to find the right solution for you.