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Communication software is an application or program designed to pass information from one system to another. Such software provides remote access to systems and transmits files in a multitude of formats between computers.Communication software forms a part of communication systems with software components classified according to functions within the Open Systems Interconnection Model (OSI Model). The best defined examples of communication software are file transfer protocol (FTP), messaging software and email.
The concept of emailing can be traced back to the early 1960s as a way of communication for multiple users of time sharing mainframe computers. In 1970, text chat functionality followed emailing and appeared on bulletin board systems and multiuser computer systems. In the 1980s, the terminal emulator, a piece of software to log into mainframes and access email, was introduced. The first decentralized chat system was the Bitnet Relay of 1985. Minitel was yet another well-known chat system introduced at the same time. The CU-SeeMe chat system was the first equipped with a video camera.
Instant messaging, with buddy list and idea an online presence, was introduced in 1996. More recently Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is on the short list of popular communication software. VoIP allow users to make phone calls through the Internet at a convenient cost.