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In 1997, Nathan Myhrvold, former
chief technology officer for Microsoft, postulated four laws of software:
Software is a gas. Software always expands to fit whatever container it is stored in.
Software grows until it becomes limited by Moore's law. The growth of software is initially rapid, like gas expanding, but is inevitably limited by the rate of increase in hardware speed.
Software growth makes Moore's law possible. People buy new hardware because the software requires it.
Software is limited only by human ambition and expectation. We will always find new algorithms, new applications, and new users.
↑ These laws were described in a 1997 presentation that the [[Association for Computing
Machinery]] hosted on the next 50 years of
computing. Nathan P. Myhrvold, "The next fifty years of software" (1997) ( full-text).