Software And Its Types


  • Software is a collection of set of programs, which are used to execute all kinds of specific instruction. It consists of a number of machine instructions, array in a specific order to perform a particular task. Software is used to describe all the programs and its associated documents which run on a computer. So, a computer needs both software and hardware for its proper functioning.
  • Software means computer instructions or data. Anything that can be stored electronically is software.
  • Firmware are software (programs or data) that has been permanently written onto read-only memory (ROM)
  • All software falls into two general types or categories: System Software and Application Software. System software consists of low-level programs that interact with the computer at very basic level. This includes operating systems, compilers, and utilities for managing resources. On the other hand, application software includes database programs, word processors, and spreadsheets.

    Types of Software:

    • System Software
    • Application Software
    • Utility Software

    Examples of System software are as follows:

    Operating Systems
    Operating systems are the most important programs that run on a computer. Every general-purpose computer must have an operating system to run other programs. Operating systems perform basic tasks, such as recognizing input from the keyboard, sending output to the display screen, keeping tracks of files and directories on the disk and controlling peripheral devices such as disk drives and printers. Most commonly used operating systems include Microsoft Windows, DOS, Xenix, Mac OS, OS/2, UNIX, MVS, etc.

    Compilers and Interpreters
    Compiler is a program that translates source code into object code. The compiler takes the entire piece of source code and collects and recognizes the instructions. In contrast, the interpreter analyzes and executes each line of source code in succession, without looking at the entire program. The advantage of interpreters is that they can execute a program immediately but compilers require some time before an executable program emerges. However, programs produced by compilers nin much faster than the same programs executed by an interpreter.

    Device Drivers
    Device drivers are the software to run the particular peripheral devices like printers, wireless mouse, modems, and Ethernet cards etc. Most of the peripheral devices attached with the CPU needs device drivers to carry out the functions. Mostly we get device
    drivers at the time of buying these devices. For example we get the printer driver when we buy the printer. Device driver lets the CPU know the type of hardware and the type of instruction for a particular device attached with it.

    Examples of Application Software are as follows:

    Word Processors
    A word processor is a program that makes us possible to perform Word processing functions. We can create, edit, and print documents using word processors. We have many features that help us to prepare a fine document. Some of the important features of word processors are: editing, spelling checking, page setup, paragraph alignments, merging documents, typing in columns etc.
    MS-Word is the world’s most popular word-processor. Although every word processor provides almost the same features, MS-Word is most flexible to work with. It is used to write documents or letter. A file in MS-Word is called a document. When a file is saved,
    MS-Word attaches the extension .doc to the file.

    A spreadsheet is a table of values arranged in rows and columns. Each value can have a predefined relationship to the other values. If one value is changed, others values need to be changed as well. Spreadsheet applications are computer programs that let you create and manipulate spreadsheets electronically. In a spreadsheet application, each value sits in a cell. We can
    define what type of data is in each cell and how different cells depend on one another. The relationships between cells are called formulas, and the names of the cells are called labels. Once we have defined the cells and the formulas for linking them together, we can enter the data. We can then modify selected values to see how all the other values change accordingly. What-if analysis makes the complex decision-making a very easy process. MS-Excel is one of the most popular spreadsheet applications.

    Multimedia applications
    Multimedia applications make us possible to run audio and video files. This application recognizes the digital signals and provides necessary signal to output devices and movie signals to the monitor and audio to the audio devices. Along with the video data we also get the text information about the file we are running. In windows operating system Windows Media Player is a good option to play the multimedia files.

    Presentation Graphics
    Presentation Graphics enable users to create highly stylized images for slide shows and reports. The software includes functions for creating various types of charts and graphs and for inserting text in variety of fonts. Most systems enable us to import data from a
    spreadsheet application to create the charts and graphs. Presentation graphics is often called business graphics. Some of the popular presentation graphics software are Microsoft PowerPoint, Lotus Freelance Graphics, Harvard Presentation Graphics, etc.

    Utility Software

    Utility is a program that performs a very specific task, usually related to managing system resources. Antivirus software, Disk Partition tools are the examples of utility software.

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