Software companies are part of the broader computer industry and provide products in one of four categories: programming services, system services, open source, and software as a service (SaaS). Software companies generate revenue from software licenses, maintenance services, subscription fees, support services, and more. By using cloud technology, a fast-growing area, customers now easily pay a regular subscription fee to immediately access software through the Internet on a provider’s server. Software companies are also some of the world’s top developers of enterprise solutions.

These are the 10 biggest software companies by 12-month trailing revenue. This list is limited to companies that are publicly traded in the U.S. or Canada, either directly or through ADRs. Some companies outside the U.S. report profits semi-annually instead of quarterly, so the 12-month trailing data may be older than it is for companies that report quarterly. Data is courtesy of YCharts.com. All figures as of August 5, 2020.

Some of the stocks below are only traded over-the-counter (OTC) in the U.S., not on exchanges. Trading OTC stocks often carries higher trading costs than trading stocks on exchanges. This can lower or even outweigh potential returns.

#1 Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)

  • Revenue (TTM): $143.0 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $44.3 billion
  • Market Cap: $1.6 trillion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: 57.7%
  • Exchange: NASDAQ

Microsoft sells a broad array of software and services. It provides desktop processing services for companies and individuals through Microsoft Office Suite. As the largest software company in the world, Microsoft provides a host of operating systems, server applications, software development, and other products. It's also a leader in cloud enterprise technology and services, as well as a seller of video game consoles, digital music services, and more.

#2 Oracle Corp. (ORCL)

  • Revenue (TTM): $39.1 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $10.1 billion
  • Market Cap: $171.9 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: 2.1%
  • Exchange: New York Stock Exchange

Oracle builds enterprise information management software for network computers, personal digital assistants, PCs, workstations, mainframes, and other devices. Oracle's products are designed for use in sales, service, marketing, finance, human resources, supply chain and manufacturing, and other areas. The company also provides cloud infrastructure and services.

#3 SAP SE

  • Revenue (TTM): $31.1 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $5.0 billion
  • Market Cap: $191.3 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: 33.7%
  • Exchange: New York Stock Exchange

SAP is a Germany-based multinational software company specializing in business software. Among SAP's products are tools for enterprise management and e-business, as well as a range of services that include training and business consultation on software management and integration.

#4 Salesforce.com Inc. (CRM)

  • Revenue (TTM): $18.2 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $-0.2 billion
  • Market Cap: $181.5 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: 38.2%
  • Exchange: New York Stock Exchange

Enterprise software company Salesforce.com offers customer relationship management software and services for business clients. Salesforce.com provides tools for marketing automation, customer service, operations, sales, and more. The company is best known for its technology platform that allows customers and developers to create and run business-related applications.

#5 Adobe Inc. (ADBE)

  • Revenue (TTM): $12.1 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $3.7 billion
  • Market Cap: $214.4 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: 52.2%
  • Exchange: NASDAQ

Adobe specializes in software products used across all types of print and electronic media. The company is known for products such as Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, Document Cloud, and Experience Cloud, among other multimedia and creativity software products, as well as digital marketing tools.

#6 VMware Inc. (VMW)

  • Revenue (TTM): $11.3 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $6.3 billion
  • Market Cap: $60.0 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: -11.9%
  • Exchange: New York Stock Exchange

VMware is a cloud computing and virtualization software company specializing in products addressing a broad range of information technology (IT) issues. VMware software is designed to address operational inefficiencies, business continuity concerns, software lifecycle issues, and to provide general desktop management tools.

#7 Intuit Inc. (INTU)

  • Revenue (TTM): $6.9 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $1.3 billion
  • Market Cap: $81.0 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: 14.0%
  • Exchange: NASDAQ

Business and financial software company Intuit is best known for its accounting software QuickBooks and its tax preparation software TurboTax. The company's products are designed for individuals, small businesses, and accountants.

#8 Square Inc. (SQ)

  • Revenue (TTM): $5.1 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $0.3 billion
  • Market Cap: $60.1 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: 96.6%
  • Exchange: New York Stock Exchange

Square is a financial services and mobile payments software company. It sells point-of-sale software that allows merchants and customers to engage in speedy transactions, providing tools for digital receipts, sales reports, and inventory analysis.

#9 Dassault Systemes SE (DASTY)

  • Revenue (TTM): $4.8 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $0.6 billion
  • Market Cap: $46.7 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: 19.9%
  • Exchange: OTC

French company Dassault Systemes is a subsidiary of the larger Dassault Group, a conglomerate best known for its aviation and aerospace endeavors. Dassault Systemes creates software for 3D product design, simulation, and manufacturing, among other tasks.

#10 SS&C Technologies Holdings Inc. (SSNC)

  • Revenue (TTM): $4.7 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $0.5 billion
  • Market Cap: $15.0 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: 29.4%
  • Exchange: NASDAQ

SS&C Technologies provides financial and investment software, including tools for wealth management accounting, insurance and pension fund administration, and more. The company's primary clients are in the financial services and health care industries.