Many lists exist that provide an overview of large softwarecompanies, often called "independent software vendors" ("ISVs"), in the world. The lists differ by methodology of composition and consequently show substantial differences in both listed companies and ranking of those companies.
The Forbes Global 2000 is an annual ranking of the top 2000 public companies in the world by Forbes magazine, based on a mix of four metrics: sales, profit, assets and market value. The Forbes list for software companies includes only pure play (or nearly pure play) software companies and excludes manufacturers, consumer electronics companies, conglomerates, IT consulting firms, and computer services companies even if they have large software divisions. For example, IBM would likely rank #3 in 2015 if its software business unit had been a separate company. The omission of more diversified firms can be useful to investors who are seeking either more or less exposure in the software sector.
The top 10 companies in the 2015 Forbes list for the "Software & Programming" industry are listed in the following table: