Computer Software and its Different Types

In this section, we will discuss. the computer software and its different types.

What is Software

Computer software is a set of instructions or codes which tell the computer to work or perform a certain task. The set of instructions or codes are collectively known as computer programs.

The software includes computer programs, data, instructions that electronically reside inside the computer memory in the digital format i.e. in the form of binary digits: 0s (ones) and 1s (zeros).

Generally, the software is categorized into two types:

  • System software
  • Application software


System Software

The system software is a type of software whose basic function is to operate and control the computer. Without system software, the user cannot operate the computer. It directly interacts with the computer hardware and directs all hardware and peripherals to perform tasks.  The system software provides an interface between the user and the computer hardware. It also provides a platform to run all kinds of application software. The system software is generally written in a low level language like assembly language.

Examples of system software are operating system, device driver, utility software, compiler, assembler etc.

Operating System

The operating system is the vital system software that provides an interface between the user and computer hardware. The operating system generally comes preinstalled with the computer hardware. However, we can install the same later on. But, without being an operating system installed, other application systems cannot be run to perform specific tasks.

Function of Operating System

The operating system manages the overall functionalities of the computer. Some of the major functions of an operating system are:

  • Memory management
  • File management
  • Process management
  • Device management
  • Provides interaction between user and computer
  • Controls input-output operation
  • Provides a platform for application software

Application Software

Application software: Application software is a type of computer software which is designed to perform a specific task. It is installed on the existing system software (operating system). More than one application software can be installed on a single operating system to perform various specific tasks. Application software are mostly written in high-level languages like C++, Java, .Net, etc.

Mostly, application software comes with a single program to perform one specific task, such PDF reader, to read PDF documents. Also, application software comes with bundle of software’s which contain multiple application in a single package like Microsoft Office Pack which comprises MS Word for preparing the document, MS Excel for spreadsheet, MS PowerPoint for presentation, MS outlook for mail, etc.

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