New York Times article Computer systems and applications that are embedded in other hardware or software have changed the way we interact with computers.
But the software that powers the computers of today has been largely in the hands of companies for decades.
Today, more than half of the software on desktop computers is owned by companies, according to a report released Tuesday by the Computing Technology Association, an industry trade group.
The report, titled Computer Hardware: The Future of the Desktop, also says that the number of people working on computers is on the rise.
In the first six months of 2018, the U.S. added more than 1 million new jobs, according the report, which was written by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley.
While the report does not include all companies that own or operate computers, it does include companies that do not yet control their own hardware.
The biggest change in the industry has been the shift to proprietary operating systems, which are designed to run on hardware and run as a part of a broader, corporate-owned computer system.
The trend has driven innovation in software for desktop computers, said David C. McAfee, chief executive of the Computing Technologies Association.
It has also created new business opportunities for companies to get the most out of their systems, he said.
Companies are taking advantage of the opportunities to make sure they can keep their own computer hardware and software in top shape, McAfee said.
The most common type of computer system today is the Windows operating system, which is widely used in most businesses.
Microsoft Inc. shares rose 4.6 percent to $76.94 in afternoon trading.
The software that runs on the computers is mostly proprietary and is designed to be updated automatically to keep up with new versions of the operating system.
Microsoft says its software has been updated to run better on new devices, and that the operating systems have been supported for decades without breaking compatibility with older hardware.
McIlhenny said in the report that the trend of increasing ownership of software and hardware has created opportunities for software developers to be more productive.
He said companies should invest in the future of the desktop, where developers will be able to build apps for new types of devices.