Software wars describes a state where software authors and users argue over which software is best for a purpose and should thus be used by everyone for that task.
In March 1998, Li-Cheng Tai created a map, a general overview of the world of software as a computer graphic and titled it Software Wars. Li-Cheng Tai stopped updating it in 2003. It was updated by Steven Hilton in 2006. The detailed graphical index of market history shows past and ongoing market competitions between free software and proprietary software, including Microsoft and Apple. It is an example of the Evil Empire genre of humor that is endemic in hacker culture where Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, is represented as the ruler of the Galactic Empire of the Star Wars movies or, as in this case, as one of the Borg of the Star Trek: The Next Generation television series. Despite the obviously humouristic purpose of the maps, it does have a remarkably well-researched and accurate portrayal of real and complex economic and market battles emerging since the Internet made globally distributed free and open source software development strategies economically feasible. The newest version of the map lacks hyperlinks, but its keywords and their relationships to each other provide a rich starting point for anyone interest in researching the history and economics of information technology.