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What is computer software? Types of computer software

by techmidpoint
What is computer software Types of computer software

Introduction of computer software

Software is a major part of the computer system that is used to operate the computer. It enables the computer to do work. It is not possible to operate a computer without it. It instructs all the physical parts of the computer system what task it should perform and how.

The computer needs to specify a sequence of instructions to execute a program. Such a set of instructions that performs a specific task on the computer is called a computer program. The collection of computer programs and related data that provides the instructions telling a computer what to do is called software.

It is a logical portion of the computer system that we cannot see or touch.  It is a set of instructions written to perform a specified task for a computer.

What is computer software?

We have known that a computer can do various jobs and solve complex problems within a second or a fraction of a second. The working capacity of the computer depends on the hardware and software used in it. It can be defined as:

A set of instructions given to the computer in programming languages that tells the computer what to do and how to perform the given task is known as computer software


A set of instructions given to the computer in programming languages to solve problems or to control the different operations of the computer is known as computer software. 


The collection of the program which makes computer work is called software. 

Types of  computer software 

There are various types of software used to perform different tasks on the computer. It can be broadly divided into two types.

1. System Software
2. Application Software

1. System software 

System software is a set of programs that controls, manages, and supports the operations of a computer system. It is essential software that creates a link between user and computer as well as provides maintains a platform for running application software.  Without system software, no link can be created between the user and the computer.

The system software functions as a bridge between computer system hardware and application software. Thus, the system is software-defined.

A type of computer program that is designed to run computer hardware and application software is known as system software. 


The system software is a set of programs that control and manage the overall operations of a computer and peripheral devices attached to the computer.  

Functions of system software

  • Monitoring the use of all the hardware components.
  • Communicating with peripheral devices such as a printer, scanners, webcam, card readers, USB, etc.
  • Providing easy interaction between users and computers.
  • Managing the files and folders.
  • Running the application software.
  • Development of other types of software.

Types of system software

a. Operating System Software
b. Utility Software
c. Device Driver Software
d. Language Processor Software or Language translator 

a) Operating System Software

The operating system software is a collection of programs that controls and manages the overall operations of a computer system. It manages the computer hardware, controls the execution of the application program, and provides the set of services to the users.

Operating system interface between the user, application software, and hardware. Examples of operating system software are Windows, macOS, DOS, and LINUX,  etc.

b) Utility Software

The Utility software is also known as a service program is a type of system software, which is used for the maintenance of the computer system and other programs. it performs special jobs in the computer such as virus cleaning, formatting disk, defragmentation of the disk, etc. It is designed to make the computer functioning smoothly. Some examples of utility are Backup utility, Disk Cleaners, File managers, Disk defragmenters, and antivirus.

c) Device Driver Software

The special software which controls the functionality of hardware devices attached to the computer is called device driver software. A device driver tells the operating system how to communicate with peripheral devices such as a printer, scanner, etc. For example printer’s driver, scanner driver, webcam’s driver, modem driver, etc.

d) Language Processor Software/ Language Translator 

The computer program which converts machine-level language to a high level and vice versa is called a language processor or language translator. This software can convert the program of a high-level or assembly language into a machine-understandable form. There are three types of language processors. They are:

  • Assembler
  • Interpreter
  • Compiler 

2. Application software 

A set of programs that are used to solve particular problems of the user through a computer is called application software. It is also known as the application package. This software is created specially according to the user’s needs.

The application software is either created by software companies or by an individual. The ready packages are also available in the market on CDs, DVDs, and online for various purposes. The user solves their problems by using ready packages more easily and quickly.

Some of the application software are Word processing software, Spreadsheet software, Database management system software, Graphics software, communication software, etc.

The application software can be subdivided into two types. They are the following:

Types of application software

a) Tailored or Customized Software

b) General or Packaged Software

a) Tailored or Customized Software

The tailored software also is known as customized software is designed to meet the specific requirement of an organization or individual. For example, Pay system, Result processing, Library system, Banking system, etc.

b) General or Packaged Software

The generalized set of software that performs specific tasks is called packaged software. They are large-sized, standard, and advanced software used for special work. For example word processing package, spreadsheet package, database package, multimedia package, graphic package, etc.

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