A software calculator is a calculator that has been implemented as a computer program, rather than as a physical hardware device. They are among the simpler interactive software tools.
These are some of the uses of a software calculator:
1. Provide operations for the user to select one at a time.
2. Can be used to perform any process that consists of a sequence of steps each of which applies one of these operations.
3. Have no purpose other than these processes, because the operations are the sole, or at least the primary, features of the calculator, rather than being secondary features that support other functionality that is not normally known simply as calculation.
As a calculator, rather than a computer, they usually:
1. Have a small set of relatively simple operations.
2. Perform short processes that do not compute intensive.
3. Do not accept large amounts of input data or produce many results.
Software calculators are available for many different platforms, and they can be:
1. A program for, or included with an operating system.
3. Embedded in a calculator watch.
Also, the complex software may have calculator-like dialogs, sometimes with the full calculator functionality, to enter data into the system.
Computers, as we know them today first, emerged in the 1940s and 1950s. The software that they ran was naturally used to perform calculations, but it was specially designed for a substantial application that was not limited to simple calculations. Software specifically to perform calculations as its main purpose was first written in the 1960s, and the first software package for general calculations to obtain widespread use was released in 1978 called VisiCalc and it was called an interactive visible calculator, but it was actually a spreadsheet, and these are now not normally known simply as calculators.