ArcGIS® Desktop is software that enables you to discover patterns, relationships, and trends in your data that are not readily apparent in databases, spreadsheets, or statistical packages. Beyond showing you your data as points on a map, ArcGIS Desktop gives you the power to manage and integrate your data, perform advanced analysis, model and automate operational processes, and display your results on professional-quality maps. Answer Questions, Test Predictions, and Examine Relationships with a rich analysis framework, including ready-to-use tools and the ability to build process models, scripts, and complete workflows, ArcGIS Desktop gives you the power to better answer questions, test predictions, and examine relation¬ships in your data. You can use ArcGIS Desktop to answer questions such as Create, Edit, and Ensure the Quality of Your Geographic Data : Manipulate data with a minimum number of clicks and automate your editing workflow with the ArcGIS Desktop powerful suite of editing tools. Advanced editing and coordinate geometry (COGO) tools simplify your data design, input, and cleanup. Multiuser editing support makes it possible for multiple users to edit your geodatabase at the same time, facilitating data sharing between departments, organizations, and field staff. Perform the Complete Cartographic Production Process within Your GIS :Easily create professional-quality, publication-ready maps with ArcGIS Desktop software’s simple wizards, predefined map tem¬plates, extensive suite of map elements, and advanced drawing and symbolization tools. The comprehensive set of cartographic tools in ArcGIS Desktop automates many aspects of cartogra¬phy, making map production a less time-consuming task. Manage Your Data More Efficiently : With support for more than 70 data formats, you can easily integrate all types of data for visualization and analysis with ArcGIS Desktop. Create databases, define database schemas, and administer the integrity of databases with an extensive set of geographic, tabular, and metadata management, creation, and organization tools. Get Started Immediately with Ready-to-Use Data : You can begin your visualization and analysis right away with the included ESRI® Data & Maps Media Kit, which is updated annu¬ally and preconfigured to work specifically with ESRI software. The ESRI Data & Maps Media Kit includes more than 24 GB of data including ArcGISSM Online includes optimized, ready-to-use content and capabilities including 2D maps, 3D globes, and reference layers. ArcGIS Online services are always available on the Web so that users with Internet access can use these services at any time. Customize ArcGIS Desktop to Meet Your Unique Needs : Easily customize the user interface by adding and removing buttons and menu items or docking toolbars. Develop custom GIS desktop applications with ArcGIS Engine, which is available through the ESRI Developer Network (EDNSM ). ArcGIS Engine provides application programming interfaces (APIs) for COM, .NET, Java™, and C++, detailed documentation, and a series of high-level visual components that make it easy for even the casual programmer to build an ArcGIS application. Source.