Definition of Computer Software


Human beings cannot function at all without life and in case the life is taken away; we refer to them as dead though their physical body is intact or glorious. Whatever life and physical body are to living things that are exactly what software and hardware are to a computer respectively; hence we can say software is the life of a computer. Let’s know what it is in computer terms. Computer software is a program which enables a computer performs specific tasks. Computer software has to be loaded into the hard drive, memory or Random Access Memory or any other storage area of a computer.

Understanding More About Computer Software

Practical systems in a computer divide software in three main classes which include system software, application software, and programming software.  System software includes an operating system that enables other software to work properly by connecting the hardware and other software. As a matter of fact, the software cannot work on its own without the hard wares and vice versa is true; hence they work together for the absolute outcome. Application software includes word processor which enables you to perform various tasks. The difference among these 3 classes of software is almost unnoticeable and arbitrary but you will know more of them later in this article.

One thing you should know is that computers work by executing the computer programs which have been loaded. This involves transmitting instructions right from the application software to the system software to the hardware which finally receives the transmitted instructions in form of a machine-level code. Every delivered instruction causes your computer carry out an operation, for example, moving data; carrying out some computation or changing control flow of various instructions. Let’s explore more on the types of computer software.

Types of Computer Software

You have known software being the life of a computer but you should also know that computer software is the language of a computer. Just as there are various languages in human so there are various types of computer software. Depending on the use and application of this computer language – software – there are 3 types. They include:

  • System software or Operating system which is simply called OS
  • Application software which you might be interacting with every day
  • Programming languages

Let’s know what each type entails:

  1. System Software

This is a type of software used by your computer in translating inputs that are from diverse sources, into a language which is understandable by the machine. The basic function of an OS is to coordinate various hardware components in your computer. There are many types of OS in the market and the most renowned brand is Microsoft. You must have used windows software like Vista, UNIX, XENIX, HP-UX, and AIX. For web servers, they use Apache OS.

  1. Application Software

You must have interacted with this type of software which includes Microsoft office suite like Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint etc. The most commonly used applications to access the internet include internet explorer and Mozilla Firefox. Media player like VLC and antivirus are also applications

  1. Programming Languages Software

If you are not a computer programmer, you rarely use this type of software and consequently rarely do you come across programming languages. Basically, programming languages are blocks used to create OS and applications. The most popular programming language are C++, Java, and Simlab.  C++ is for professional developers and usually used in developing OS while Java and PHP are usually used in internet applications.