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Software programs perform specific computerized tasks. They contain numerous instructions that tell a device how and what to do in order to achieve the desired functions. Software has been around longer than most people realize and has undergone quite an evolutionary process.

In the summer of 1948, Thomas Kilburnand his associate Freddie Williams created one of the first computers, which was known as “Baby.” The software designed by the duo to make their machine function involved performing mathematical calculations. In later years, computers derived their instructions via punch cards. Programmers punched holes in cards, which told the machines what functions to perform. Fortran was one of the first computer languages developed to create rudimentary software. The term “software” was first introduced in 1957.

Personal Computers

In 1977, Apple introduced the first personal computer to the public, which was named the Apple II. Two years later, the devices featured spreadsheet software known as VisiCalc, which became very popular. Within three years, IBM joined the competition by introducing their personal computers. However, the machines featured software that was largely designed for business applications. By the middle of the 1980s, computers were equipped with AutoCAD, Microsoft Excel, and Word.

In the 1990s, developers introduced open-source software. The programs were available to the public at no charge. Additionally, the groups or organizations that created the software continually offered upgrades and patches in the event that glitches occurred. The Linux kernel was the first of the open-source programs introduced. Later in the decade, the Netscape Navigator and Java were made available. Today, there are hundreds of open-source software programs available that encompass a wide variety of topics and functions.

Mobile Devices

The first mobile phone was introduced in 1973. However, it was not until 2007 that software programs or apps gained popularity. The apps were created for use on Apple’s iPhones. There are currently numerous apps available for all brands and types of smartphones and mobile devices. Now, software has become commonplace in many instances using computerized technology.

Smart appliances and smart home systems enable owners to program functions to occur at specific times. Automotive manufacturers install software that monitors and regulates how vehicles function. The programs also provide entertainment. Land, air and water-based vehicles feature computerized software programs that perform a number of abilities including navigation.