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Computer Software

Updated on March 3, 2012
Relationship of user, software and hardware
Relationship of user, software and hardware

What exactly is computer software?? It is a collection of programs or a set of instructions which tells the computer how to perform or execute a particular task.

There are two types of software,system and application software.

System software is a program which manages the computer resources and operations of a computer. It is an interface between the user,hardware and the application software. It can be further divided into

  • operating system.It is a software that manages files and tasks and helps user interact with the computer system through application programs. Examples of which are LINUX,UNIX and Microsoft Windows.
  • device drivers.These are programs that provide communication between input and output devices.
  • utility programs.These programs are there to help the user perform daily tasks and keep the system performance at peak such as virus scanning and back up software.

The other type of software,application software is a program designed to carry out a particular task such as word processing software. These softwares can be tailor-made in accordance with the customer’s requirements. Common types of application software are :-

  • Word processing software.It helps prepares documents by editing,storing,formattingand creating documents like Ms Word.
  • Spreadsheet software.They let you make tables and do calculations easily like Ms Excel.
  • Database management software.They let you create databases for storing, editing and adding records. For instance Ms Access.
  • Game software.It lets you plays games like Sims etc.

Example of commercial software
Example of commercial software

Application softwares are to be installed by the users themselves if they want specific tasks to be performed. Thus there are ways to obtain it depending on type of software which are as follows :-

  • Commercial software : this type is for sale and users have to buy a license for using the software such as the antivirus BitDefender.
  • Public domain software : This type of software is available to be used by the public and no payment is required in using it.
  • Shareware : It is a free software but limits the programs features or the time limit for using the software unless purchased.
  • Freeware : This software is free to use and does not require any payment from the user e.g. Google chrome.
  • Rentalware : Users of this type of software are required to pay a fees monthly or quarterly for the software’s usage as it leased to the users from the application provider.

The other type of software which people seem to be using is pirated software, making copies themselves and violating the manufacturer’s rights. Pirated softwares are available from the internet and copies of such softwares are also sold in many countries such as India.Software piracy is punishable by law.


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