From its first glimmerings in the 1950s, the software industry has evolved to become the fourth largest industrial sector of the US economy. Starting with a handful of software contractors who produced specialized programs for the few existing machines, the industry grew to include producers of corporate software packages and then makers of mass-market products and recreational software. This book tells the story of each of these types of firm, focusing on the products they developed, the business models they followed, and the markets they served.
By describing the breadth of this industry, Martin Campbell-Kelly corrects the popular misconception that one firm is at the center of the software universe. He also tells the story of lucrative software products such as IBM's CICS and SAP's R/3, which, though little known to the general public, lie at the heart of today's information infrastructure.
With its wealth of industry data and its thoughtful judgments, this book will become a starting point for all future investigations of this fundamental component of computer history.
About the Author
Martin Campbell-Kelly is Reader in Computer Science at the University of Warwick.
"In his incisive, panoramic book...Martin Campbell-Kelly delivers all three: context, insight, even occasional humor." , Steve Lohr, The New York Times
"...a crucial document for anyone interested in understanding the history of software from a business perspective." , Case, firstmonday.org
"...Provides a smooth, very readable ride through the growth of one of the last half century's most important industries.", Cal Clinchard, PC Today
"A timely reminder of earlier booms and busts." , Barry Fox, New Scientist
"A valuable long view of what is...the high-visibility Silicon Valley stock-market bubble." , Steven Poole, The Guardian
"A well-rounded look at the software industry from a business perspective. Highly recommended.", Colleen Cuddy, Library Journal
"Campbell-Kelly is the first historian to give us a comprehensive overview of this hidden industry..." , David Siegfried, Booklist
"From Airline Reservations to Sonic the Hedgehog should command a wide audience..." —Slashdot.org
"I strongly recommend this book...", Paul Ceruzzi, Paul Ceruzzi
"In his incisive, panoramic book...Martin Campbell-Kelly delivers...context, insight, even occasional humor." , Steve Lohr, The New York Times
"A valuable long view of what is...the high-visibility Silicon Valley stock-market bubble." Steven Poole The Guardian
"I strongly recommend this book..." Paul Ceruzzi Paul Ceruzzi
"In his incisive, panoramic book...Martin Campbell-Kelly delivers all three: context, insight, even occasional humor." Steve Lohr The New York Times
"...Provides a smooth, very readable ride through the growth of one of the last half century's most important industries." Cal Clinchard PC Today
"Campbell-Kelly is the first historian to map the terrain of the software industry, from contractors through corporate products to personal computer software. This pathbreaking book is packed with data and insights that will be valuable to historians of business and technology, as well as to analysts of the contemporary software industry. It lays to rest a variety of myths and distortions about the software business, including the over-emphasis on Microsoft that has dominated writing about it to this time."
—JoAnne Yates, Sloan Distinguished Professor of Management, MIT
"From a disparate array of sources, Campbell-Kelly deftly and neatly teases out a compelling history of the emergence, structure, and development of the computer software and services sector of the US economy."
—Arthur Norberg, Director, Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota
"This book is a major step forward in documenting the software industry's history. It contributes structure and content as well as insight and analysis."
—Burton Grad, President, Software History Center
"This book presents an exceptionally clearheaded overview of one of the most important industries of the twentieth century. No other work covers the business dimensions of the software industry so comprehensively or so clearly. It should be the starting point for anyone interested in the history of the software business."
—Steven Usselman, School of History, Technology, and Society, Georgia Institute of Technology
Awarded the 2003 American Association for History and Computing Book Prize presented by the American Association for History and Computing (AAHC).