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The term "software package" has multiple uses in IT. Its most common use is to refer to multiple software programs bundled together and sold as a set. There is also the use of "software package" to describe a set of software that fulfills a particular function, for example, installation on the desktop.
In a traditional sense, a software package is simply multiple applications or code modules that work together to meet various goals and objectives. One of the most prominent examples is something like the Microsoft Office package, which includes individual applications such as Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint.
In some ways, a software package today is similar to what it was 20 years ago. In other key ways, the software package is decidedly different. The Microsoft example is a good one. Although the Microsoft Office suite is still sold as a package, and still includes many of the same branded components, the ways in which it is sold are very different. In the past, users had a single option—to purchase a software package off the shelf and install it. That same option is still available, along with other options including web-delivered software packages and subscriptions on an annual or monthly basis.