10 Most Expensive Software in the World

10 Most Expensive Software in the World

10 Most Expensive Software in the World

Software is essentially data that runs computers and other types of hardware. Without it, these devices would never function and eventually end up as useless piles of hot garbage. Technological advancements have made the software much more complex than it already is. And naturally, despite the multi-functionality as well as the eradication of complicated software bugs, these complex software can be very expensive. So, here are the 10 most expensive software ever released:      

1. AutoCAD – $9,000

AutoCAD is the most expensive computer-aided design (CAD) software around. CAD allows users to create objects, animations, and designs in 2D and 3D. Numerous companies have developed CAD software over the years, such as Adobe (Illustrator), Trimble Navigation (SketchUp), and Dassault Systemes (SolidWorks), but no CAD provider has gained more prominence than the makers of AutoCAD: Autodesk.

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AutoCAD is considered to be the number one CAD software in the world. It was released in 1982 and became the first CAD software to run on personal computers. Key features include surface analysis, 3D associate array, refined interface, ribbon galleries, and reality computing. AutoCAD also now comes with a mobile and cloud-based feature.        

2. Microsoft SQL Server Business Intelligence – $12,000

Business intelligence (BI) software is never cheap, but Microsoft’s BI and data management software takes the word “expensive” to a completely different level. The SQL Server BI is definitely not for startups and small companies. This software enables organizations to collect and analyze data in a highly-efficient and dynamic manner; highly useful for corporations earning billions in revenues while operating in different locations around the world. The SQL Server BI also be customized with ETL dataflows and SQL server services, among others.    

3. Adobe Acrobat Capture 3 – $19,000

Released in 1996, three years after the first Acrobat was released, the Acrobat Capture allows users to convert any document into a PDF file through OCR technology. The third iteration of the Acrobat Capture continues to be the most expensive software Adobe has ever released, but it would be discontinued in 2010 as cheaper alternatives were sold in the market. Dozens of free alternatives can now be found online. 

4. HP Intelligent Management Center MPLS VPN Manager Cisco Device – $25,000

HP’s take on a multi-function network management software is priced at $25,000. The price is somewhat justifiable, as it features real-time configuration change tracking, compliance reporting, and automated configuration tasking. Despite OpenView previously holding the majority of market share in the network management software industry, Hewlett Packard managed to overtake Open View with the Intelligent Management Center (IMC). IMC was originally a product from the computer network company HP acquired in 2009, 3Com.       

5. Softimage Face Robot – $90,000

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Softimage Face Robot is another software developed by Autodesk. It is used to create 3D graphics for a wide array of mediums, most especially video games and movies. Even with its hefty price tag, Softimage’s industry-leading ultra-realistic 3D animation software has become a top preference for media enterprises and advertising companies around the globe.   

6. VxWorks – $190,000

A real-time operating system (RTOS) is still mainly an operating system, but its main function is to process all types of information instantaneously: zero delays and zero errors. This type of OS is mostly used in industries where safety and security are given top priority, such as aerospace and defense, medicine, telecommunications, robotics, transportation, and consumer electronics. Additionally, software mistakes in RTOS are oftentimes completely eradicated.     

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Among the more notable RTOS include Windows Embedded Compact, RTLinux, LynxOS, and Blackberry QNX. But when it comes to the most expensive RTOS, no one even comes to Wind River Systems VxWorks. Initially released in 1987, VyWorks was a key component in the development of numerous technological innovations over the years, including the ASIMO robot, the NASA Juno space probe, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and the Boeing 787, among others. VxWorks is based on Ada, C, C++, and Java, and consists of a multi-tasking kernel, error handling framework, and dual-mode IPV6 networking stack functionalities. 

7. Source – $200,000

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"Source" is a software dedicated to creating 3D graphics in video games. It is developed by video game company Valve and created through C++ . Highly-popular games such as Counter-Strike: Source, Half-Life 2, and Left 4 Dead are using the Source game engine. In 2015, Valve announced the successor of Source called Source 2 and will use a new physics engine as well as obtain support for the Vulak graphical API.  

8. RenderWare – $240,000

Although it has been discontinued, it doesn’t change the fact that RenderWare was one of the most expensive software projects ever released. Slightly more expensive than Source, RenderWare was another software that specializes in creating 3D graphics for video games. This 3D API and graphics rendering engine from game developer Criterion Software was used in games developed for the Sony (Playstations 2 to 4), Microsoft (Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One), and Nintendo (Gamecube and Wii) consoles. It also ran on Windows and the Apple Mac OS.

9. New World Systems Public Administration Software – $500,000

New World Systems is the most expensive security software in the world. With its half-a-million price tag, it is also considered as the most secure public safety system ever built, perfect for managing and securing data for every local government function (e.g. finance, human resources, business analytics, etc.).   

10. CryEngine 3 – $1.2 million

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The most expensive software list wraps up with the most expensive software ever developed. CryEngine 3 is a third version of the CryEngine game engine developed by German video game developed Crytek. Its main features include a LUA Script Driven AI System, “Uber Shader” technology, deferred lighting, and color grading. Futuristic first-person shooting game Crysis 2 debuted the CryEngine back in October 2009. The Australian Defense Force also used the game engine to train Navy personnel on virtually land a helicopter on a dock landing ship. CryEngine was licensed to Amazon in 2015 for around $70 million.      

In instances where software powers an entire branch of government or is used to aid business functions of a multi-billionaire company, it’s not surprising that some software can cost to up to $1 million.