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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also Software

Contents

English

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Pronunciation

Etymology

soft +‎ -ware, by contrast with hardware (the computer itself).

Coined 1953 by Paul Niquette[1]; first used in print by John Tukey 1958.

Noun

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Wikipedia

Singular
software

Plural
uncountable

software (uncountable)

  1. (computing) Encoded computer instructions, usually modifiable (unless stored in some form of unalterable memory such as ROM). Compare hardware.
    • 1958, John W. Tukey, "The Teaching of Concrete Mathematics" in The American Mathematical Monthly, vol. 65, no. 1 (Jan. 1958), pp 1-9:
      The "software" comprising the carefully planned interpretive routines, compilers, and other aspects of automative programming are at least as important to the modern electronic calculator as its "hardware" of tubes, transistors, wires, tapes and the like.
    • 1995, Paul Niquette, Softword: Provenance for the Word ‘Software’:
      As originally conceived, the word "software" was merely an obvious way to distinguish a program from the computer itself. A program comprised sequences of changeable instructions each having the power to command the behavior of the permanently crafted machinery, the "hardware."

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

See also

References

  • Notes:
  1. ^ "Introduction: The Software Age" at niquette.com, adapted from Sophisticated: The Magazine

Italian

Etymology

English

Noun

software m. inv.

  1. (computing) software

Simple English

Software is short for computer software, a type of computer program. It means the applications and operating systems used with computers.

The term software was first used in the late 1960s to show the difference from computer hardware, which are the fixed parts of a machine. Before compact discs (CDs) or Internet downloads, software came on "soft media" like magnetic discs and magnetic tape.

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