Companies in this industry design and publish development tools, operating systems, and utilities software. Major companies include Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Red Hat, and Symantec (all based in the US), as well as Avast Software (Czech Republic) and Trend Micro (Japan).
Demand is driven by sales of computing devices, including desktop and notebook PCs, tablets, and smart phones, which are tied to personal income levels and business profits. The profitability of individual companies depends on technical expertise and effective marketing. Large companies have advantages in development, marketing, and distribution resources. Small software companies compete by focusing on niche applications or emerging technologies. The US software industry is concentrated: the 50 largest companies generate about 75% of revenue.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major products include operating systems used on computers and mobile devices, utility programs such as backup software, and development tools used by programmers. Operating systems and utilities are also known as systems software, a term that differentiates them from application software such as productivity programs and games.