Butter has been eaten for thousands of years. Yet, spreadable butter wasn't available to consumers until the early 1990s. Spreadable butter keeps a soft texture even during refrigeration. It's perfect for breakfast items like toast.
Baking recipes often call for softened butter, but if you put the butter in the microwave you risk butter soup. Leaving it out at room temp is fine if you've got lots of time. But when your butter is cold and hard and you want it to be warm and soft, just pound it with a rolling pin.