Software refers to the programs that are written for computers to execute. Software is distinguished from the "hardware" of a computer, which is the physical part of the computer. Many of the largest companies in the world are software companies. Software can be distributed as recordings on CDs or DVDs or via downloads from the Internet.
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IBM, which stood for International Business Machines, was founded by the merger of three separate companies in 1911. IBM was originally called CTR, which stood for Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation. The name was changed to IBM in 1924. As of 2010, IBM has sales of £62.2 billion. IBM currently creates and maintains both hardware and software and has a huge variety and breadth of products. Some IBM software products include data management solutions and web commerce software.
Microsoft was founded in 1975 by Paul Allen and Bill Gates. Originally Microsoft sold software for the Altair 8800 microcomputer. As of 2010, Microsoft has sales of £38.1 billion. Microsoft is most well known for its line of Windows operating systems and Microsoft Office productivity suite.
Oracle was founded in 1977 by Larry Ellison, Bob Miner and Ed Oates. As of 2010, Oracle has sales of £15.1 billion. Oracle is best known for its line of enterprise server relational database management systems, including the Oracle Database.
Google was founded by Sergey Brin and Larry Page in 1998. As of 2010, Google has revenue of £15.3 billion. Google is best known for the Google search engine. It also provides cloud computing services.
SAP is a German software company founded in 1972. As of 2010, SAP has sales of £9.9 billion. It makes software for other businesses, as well as providing consulting services.
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