This study investigates the determinants of diffusion of the quality standards in Turkey's software sector. It explores the evidence provided by previous survey studies conducted on software activities in Turkey. It determines that the diffusion of standards remained low during the last decade, and this relates particularly to the intrinsic difficulties of micro and small software firms. The study indicates the driving role of the implementation of obligatory regulations in the adoption of software quality standards. It identifies factors acting as barriers, which relate mainly to firms' limited knowledge and perception about the software quality standards, and to the resource constraints in terms of finance and employees. (C) 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.