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This chapter is from the book

The Real Value of Programs

Although individual computer programs are going down in price, companies and individual computer owners invest more and more in programs every year. Not only do people purchase new programs as they come out, but they update the older versions of programs they already have.

Businesses and individuals must factor in the cost of programs when making computer decisions. Whereas an individual usually buys a computer—called hardware because the machine isn’t changed often or easily—and is done with the hardware purchasing for a while, the purchasing of programs—the software—never seems to end, because software changes rapidly. As a future programmer, this is welcome news because you have a secure career. For the uninformed computer purchaser, the cost of software can be staggering.

A business must also factor in the on-staff and contract programmers and the time needed to write the programs it uses. More information on the programming and support staff appears in the next section.

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