In compiling a list of the world's oldest software companies, one comes face to face with an inevitable question. Namely, what is it? What the heck is this thing we call "software?"
While it's easy to say that Windows or Office or even the wanton dismemberment of Dead Space 2 are obvious examples of software, where does one draw the line? Did software, for instance, exist before the advent of computers? In our minds, it did. Though the concept of altering the performance of mechanisms by feeding them independent sets of instructions has clearly become rampant in the computer age, it in fact started long before that – the early 18th century, to be exact. And that is precisely where we'll start our journey.