Chuck decided to start a bus route with a brand new bus, so he ordered a bus from the distributors of Volvo. When it was delivered, he was dismayed to find that, although it had a chassis, an engine, a driver’s seat, and a steering wheel, there was little else. All the “soft options” were missing. He called the distributor, who advised that that was the way it was. Chuck had to build his own body, install seats, and all the rest of it. And, as he didn’t have a license to drive a bus, he would have to employ a driver.
What’s this got to do with computers and software?
A great deal!
You see, a computer is a piece of machinery, just like an engine. You can go out and buy the most expensive, most powerful automobile globally, but without the soft options and a driver, it won’t go anywhere—the same with a computer. The world’s most powerful and expensive computers, in business, government, or the military, are, without the software and the drivers. It is not by accident that Bill gates are one of the two richest men in the world. As a young man, he recognized the future of home computers and realized they would all need user-friendly software to make them work. He fills that need with Microsoft’s MS-Dos, then Windows and other software programs.
Microsoft software is not, to be frank, the best software in the world, but it is by far the most popular and usually the most affordable. And because it is used on most PC’s around the world, it is almost obligatory to install it on your own computer, to enable an exchange of documents and communicate with others.
Linux is reputed to be a better, more robust operating system than MS Windows. Still, few people use it because there are relatively few software programs compatible with it, and it takes some time to learn how to use it. And yet, there is a free version. There are office suites (similar to MS Office) available on the internet. There are programs better than MS Powerpoint (IMHO), but MS products are so entrenched in computerland that few people look beyond them unless they can get what they need from Microsoft.
Why can’t they get them from Microsoft?
MS only makes popular software that millions of people will use. They spend millions of dollars to develop a program, then sell millions of copies of it. A flower breeder wanting the specialized software to assist him breed roses, for instance, can forget about Microsoft. They don’t have it, and they are not interested in developing it. Not for the price the flower breeder could pay, anyway. There’s not enough demand for it.
No demand, no profit. No profit, no MS. So, what can you do if you need a specialized program? Don’t give up hope yet. Many software developers in the world are developing niche software programs. You may find what you are looking for already available in your local computer store or, more likely, instantly available for download on the internet. If it’s not available, you can design your own.
Yes, you can do that. There are software designers available who will take your instructions concerning what you want your software to do and design your program for you. Designing and producing software can be likened to building a ship. This designer can be likened to the naval architect who takes instructions from the intended owner and draws up the blueprints for the ship. The architect needs to know a lot about the ship.
What it will be used for (cruise ship, warship, cargo ship, etc.) and its size, capacity, functions, and a whole lot more. Your software designer will need to get all this from you, exactly what you want the software to do, its functions, capacity, foundation (operating system), and every minute detail of what you require it to do.
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