Software product management is the process of managing software that is built and implemented as a product and generally with a wide audience. It is the discipline and business process which governs a product from its inception to the market or customer delivery and service in order to generate biggest possible value to the business.
A software product is typically a single application or suite of applications built by a software company to be used businesses or consumers. The mass-market notion differs from custom software built for the use of a single customer by consulting firms like IBM Global Services or Accenture.
Examples of consumer software products include Microsoft Office by Microsoft, TurboTax by Intuit. Since the late 1990s, many software products have been offered as a service, so that the customers - businesses or end consumers - run the same application without installing the software on their computers.
Even though these applications are not packaged in media that can be touched and felt, they are software products nonetheless, and require the same product management rigor as packaged software do. In fact, they do require more rigor since the product manager must now be concerned with operational concerns such as service availability and third-party relations.