What I'm really asking is, in the post-ENT era, are there references to any specific (named) software corporations, brands, packages, or projects? Are we really supposed to believe that everyone is so unified and committed to the betterment of humanity and the greater UFP culture that everyone uses the same perfect software which only has a generic name?

LCARS is excepted. It makes sense that there would be a standard OS used by Starfleet. What tools and OSes do civilians use? What do people use in their off time?

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    I feel like this could be tightened up into an acceptable on-topic question, starting by removing the "are we really supposed to believe..." portion - or really the whole second half of it.
    – phantom42
    Commented Jun 2, 2013 at 18:54
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    Even with perfect people and perfect software, there would still be some diversity due to diversity of uses. Within current Free Software there is significant, often unnecessary, diversity. Then there is the fact that most software would be "embedded", practically invisible to the user. Without a need for artificial barriers (for competition), compatibility would be less difficult tending to blur the distinctions between platforms (OS, software suite); people would be even more inclined than today to say "I was writing a novel" than "I was using MS Word $VERSION to write a novel".
    – user11683
    Commented Jun 2, 2013 at 19:14
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    Not only is there only a single OS, it is galaxy wide. Ever notice how similar almost all ships we see are? Their configurations, their control panels, and their computer systems... the differences are superficial, like different skins or desktop themes.
    – user11521
    Commented May 15, 2014 at 15:01
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    The original question had "Does Data run Android OS?" as the joking title. This got downvoted to heck. I'm still hurt. Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 20:06
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    @Bachrach44: YES! Broht & Forrester Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 15:13

3 Answers 3


I can only think of a handful of cases. In Voyager's "Author, Author", it's mentioned that people publish holodeck programs for money, usually in the form of stories. Quark mentions that other companies do this as well. I guess this would be the spiritual successor of modern game companies.

Sorry, this is all I've got.

  • Does the episode mention money?
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 16:47
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    It doesn't. However, it does mention gambling. Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 2:07
  • I'm uncertain whether an interactive holo-novel counts as software, any more than my writing this comment is software
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 7:37
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    The holonovels count as software because they're interactive. You need to program AI, environmental logic, and other stuff. It's basically like programming in a modern videogame. Somewhere in the captain proton program, there is code like this: environment.on("anything",function(event){ constanceGoodheart.screamAt(event); }); Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 15:52

To the best of my recollection there are no specific in-universe references to any branded software. Roddenberry was quite clear that in the future there is no capitalism, hence no brands (product placement notwithstanding)

Out-of-universe, however, you can clearly see that LCARS is in running on Microsoft™ Windows™.

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In the novel Cold Equations: The Persistence of Memory, Dr Soong writes his software for gambling machines which monitors the bio-signs of the participants and manipulates the game depending on the read-outs to make the maximum profit. It strikes me as somewhat unlikely that Starfleet would allow LCARS to be used for gambling ventures...

In the same book, Dr Soong also details how he worked for Starfleet writing his own security software for them (and left back doors for himself).

All the software which he wrote for the Soong-type androids is evidently compatible with LCARS, possibly built on it, but is his own (and Juliana's) software.

Whether you want to call this software 'Soongian' brand software or not, it's up to you, but there definitely are people who independently write software that isn't built on independent software that is not LCARS.

The other aspect to remember is that we are only focusing on the Federation! What about all the other computing systems that the other governments use. What about the Ferengi? In the extreme capitalist society they are, there probably are competing proprietary software brands there. We also know for a fact that the Klingons, Cardassians and Romulans all use different software systems than the Federation, meaning there is also potential there for brands to creep in there.

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