Depending on who you ask, the term “softwood” can mean different things.
A botanist will tell you that softwoods have a simple cellular structure and lack vascular pores to transport water through the trunk.
A lumberjack will tell you that softwoods have needles and grow quick and straight.
A carpenter will tell you that softwoods are inexpensive and versatile building material.
In any case, they are all talking about the same category of woods.