soft (software)

Hello there! In Russian we usually contract the word "software" by saying just "soft". I wonder, does this shortened form of word has any plural form? Can I say: "I like to install some new softs on my PC."? as for the "software", the dictionary gives the plural form. However, I've never hear it being in plural and it sounds a bit unnatural. Is it the same to "softs"?
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    'Soft' is not used like this in English - I've never seen it. 'Software' is a non-count noun, so 'some software'; if you want to use a plural you talk about some programs or some applications.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    'Soft' is not used like this in English - I've never seen it. 'Software' is a non-count noun, so 'some software'; if you want to use a plural you talk about some programs or some applications.
    ... or some items/pieces of software.

    Soft is not a concrete noun in English, except rarely in phrases like "the soft of my hand" meaning "the soft part...".
     

    pwmeek

    Senior Member
    English - American
    A word which is taking over from software (at least in AE) is app (short for application) with a plural apps. "App" began as a name for small pieces of software suitable for smart-phones, but has been gaining traction as a term for computer software as well. At some level of size it begins to sound silly; I think I would have a hard time calling Microsoft Word an "app", and certainly not an enterprise-wide accounting program. "Buy this eleven million dollar accounting app, and bring your company into the 21st Century!" (I don't think so.)
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    A word which is taking over from software (at least in AE) is app (short for application) with a plural apps. ...
    Close, but not exactly. The two broad categories of software are systems software and application software. Systems software includes things like the operating system, telecommunications/network software and so on. Applications are software that does useful work, while systems software facilitates the use of other programs that do useful work.

    "App" is increasingly used as a short form of "application," but not as a term for software in general. An operating system, be it Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, Linux or anything else, is not an app because it isn't an application - not because it's big.

    That said, "soft" is never used as a short form for "software" in English - never. The question of whether or not it has a plural form is therefore irrelevant. As previously posted correctly by entangledbank, "software" does not have a plural form. There is no such word as "softwares" in standard English.
     

    pwmeek

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Sorry, I wasn't even thinking of systems software (nor utilities or programming tools), just applications. Unless they are a systems administrator, most people never have much to do with installing operating systems.

    That said, as applications get larger and more complex, the word App seems to become inappropriate, to me at least. I intended to warn against using it in such cases.

    I have seen 'ware and 'wares (with and without the apostrophe) used as short forms of "software programs", but this seems to be mostly used by hackers and the computer underground, and may refer customarily to stolen software (and is sometimes spelled warez - although still pronounced as one syllable).
     

    djmc

    Senior Member
    English - United Kingdom
    Software is normally the programs which run on a computer. This would be the operating system and the applications. This is in contrast with the hardware which is the actual machine itself and the attached peripherals. I have very occasionally come accross middleware which is microcode running on a particular type of chip.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    ... I have very occasionally come accross middleware which is microcode running on a particular type of chip.
    Actually, and not to drag this thread too far off-topic, that is firmware. Middleware is something else: it is data translation software used to link applications, often specifically in enterprise application integration. Middleware is used when two applications need to exchange data, but don't share a database or have their own facilities for using the other application's data structures.
     

    Pertinax

    Senior Member
    BrE->AuE
    "Soft" is sometimes used to mean a "software equivalent of" or a "software implementation of".
    For example, a "soft reset" or "soft boot" is a reset or boot executed by software, a "soft keyboard" is a software-simulated keyboard, a "soft phone" is a program that enables the computer microphone and headphone/speakers to be used for phone-calls.
    But "soft" is not used as a noun for a piece of software.
     
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