What is Computer software? Types of software?

Software Hierchy
Software Hierchy

What is Computer software?

Computer Software is a collection of Data or Computer instructions that tell the Computer how to work. This is in contrast to physical hardware , from which the system is built and actually performs the work.


Types of software:

>System software,

>Application software

System software-

o For management and functionality of computer—Operating system, device drivers, and system utilities

o For development of application software—Programming languages, translator software, loader, and linker

  • Operating system
  • Device drivers
  • System utility software—Anti-virus, data compression, cryptographic, disk compression,disk partitioning, disk cleaner, backup, system profiling, and network manager
  • Programming language—Machine language, assembly language, high-level language,and different generations of programming languages
  • Translator software—Assembler, compiler, and interpreter  Linker, and loader software

Application software—

Word processing software, image processing software, accounting software, spreadsheet software, presentation software, CAD/CAM software, and web browser software.Figure 6.2 shows the hierarchy of software, hardware and users.

Software Hierchy
Software Hierarchy



System software provides basic functionality to the computer. System software is required for the working of computer itself. The user of computer does not need to be aware about the functioning of system software, while using the computer. For example, when you buy a computer, the system software would also include different device drivers. When you request for using any of the devices, the corresponding device driver software interacts with the hardware device to perform the specified request. If the appropriate device driver for any device, say a particular model of a printer, is installed on the computer, the user does not need to know about the device driver, while printing on this printer. The purposes of the system software are:

  • To provide basic functionality to computer,
  • To control computer hardware, and
  • To act as an interface between user, application software and computer hardware. On the basis of their functionality, system software may be broadly divided into two categories (Figure 6.3) as follows—
System software
System software

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