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Last modified: Friday, January 04, 2002 

Computer instructions or data. Anything that can be stored electronically is software. The storage devices and display devices are hardware.

The terms software and hardware are used as both nouns and adjectives. For example, you can say: "The problem lies in the software," meaning that there is a problem with the program or data, not with the computer itself. You can also say: "It's a software problem."

The distinction between software and hardware is sometimes confusing because they are so integrally linked. Clearly, when you purchase a program, you are buying software. But to buy the software, you need to buy the disk (hardware) on which the software is recorded.

Software is often divided into two categories:

  • systems software : Includes the operating system and all the utilities that enable the computer to function.
  • applications software : Includes programs that do real work for users. For example, word processors, spreadsheets, and database management systems fall under the category of applications software.
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    Sun iForce: Computers & Software Provides directory of partner vendors who deliver solutions for customer needs, including technology. Designed to improve business processes.

    Gateway: Computers & Software Computer manufacturer, distributor and retailer. Computer services include networking, IT certification, software, hardware, peripherals and more. Quicken & QuickBooks Comparison Shopping offers price comparisons, consumer reviews, product features, and store ratings from over 2,000 stores across the web.

    For pages about software . Also check out the following links!

    Related Links

    Software Publishers Association home page 
    The Software Publishers Association is a leading association for the software industry. Their site offers links to news and events, a member directory, courses, publications, and research information.

    The Software Sharing Resource Library 
    This site hosts a worldwide catalog of software Web sites.

    Business Software Alliance (BSA) home page
    The BSA is an organization promoting the continued growth of the software industry through its international public policy, enforcement, and education programs. Their site offers links to news, resources, policies, anti-virus information, and worldwide hotlines.

    CNET's site
    A site for locating downloadable software by keyword or by subject category, from CNET.

    Computer ESP - computer prices search engine
    This is a resource for locating hardware and software prices from major computer cyberstores in the U.S. and Canada. There are several methods for locating prices including a search engine, product and company categories and Computer ESP's list of the 1000 most popular products.

    DEK Software International
    Offers downloadable demos for several award-winning software products.

    Informatique's downloadable software collection
    Offers an abundant selection of free, beta, evaluation and time-limited software.

    League for programming freedom
    Provides news, position statements and legal resouces covering software patent issues and user interface copyrights. Includes information on the LZW patent.

    PCR Online
    Provides reviews of commercial PC software, shareware and games and includes sections for Web design tips, shareware and Java downloads, Shockwave and Internet events, book reviews, and articles from PC News.

    Superkids - Educational software reviews
    SuperKids provides reviews of children's software, by parents, teachers, and children. Following a 'Consumer Reports' format, each month an acadmic subject and age range is selected for product comparisons.

    Computer hardware and software buyer's guide with helpful product-related articles and recommendations.

    WinSite software archive
    Home page for WinSite, a comprehensive Windows software archive. This site offers a search or browse utility to locate software, which you can then download.

    Yahoo!'s software companies page
    Yahoo!'s directory of links to software companies.

    Yahoo!'s software page
    Yahoo!'s directory of software links.

    Sponsored listings Computers and Software Comparison Shopping offers price comparisons, consumer reviews, product features, and store ratings from over 2,000 stores across the web.

    eBay: Computers and Software Online marketplace for buying and selling computers and software.

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