What is Software and what are its types?

A computer system is made up of software and hardware parts. If a computer only has hardware and no software, then it is not a complete computer system. Software is needed for computer hardware to work with each other.

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What is Software?

Software is called a set of computer programs. Computer programmers write many lines of code to create a computer program. There is a purpose for creating every software. The people who create the software are called software developers. Other names for software are application, app, program.

If you still do not understand what is software, then there is nothing to worry. At the moment, you should understand that the apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Google Maps are examples of software.

Nowadays many types of software have been made but all these software can be kept in two categories: System software and Application software.

Types of Software

1. System Software

A system software tells the computer how to work. When you power on the computer, you see the name of the company that made the computer. This means that there is something in the computer that as soon as the computer starts, you see the name of the company that made the computer. This happens because there is a software that is already in the computer.

Software is also needed for the hardware of the computer to work. Such software which is made for computer devices such as audio card, video card, USB port etc. is called device driver.

Operating System
An operating system is a kind of system software and it is already installed in the computer. The operating system manages every function of the computer. When the computer starts, the operating system checks whether all the parts of the computer are connected or not.

The operating system gives us permission to create files and folders on the computer. If the operating system does not support a file, then we cannot work on that file. The operating system also checks what software you are installing on the computer. If the software is not compatible with the operating system, then you cannot install that software.

Nowadays there are many operating systems available in which the most popular are - Windows 10, Windows 11, Macintosh, Linux.

2. Application Software

Application software is called software that you use for some of your work. Eg - Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Excel, WhatsApp. You use Photoshop to edit photos. You use Microsoft Word to create documents.

What is the difference between System software and Application software?

  • System software is used to operate computer hardware and all software. Application software is used by the user for a specific task.
  • System software acts as an interface between computer hardware and application software. Application software works on the platform provided by the system software.
  • System software does not require application software to run. Application software cannot run without system software.
  • A computer cannot function without system software. It is not mandatory to install application software in the computer.
  • System software runs when the computer starts and shuts down when the computer shuts down. Application software starts and stops on user request.
  • Examples of system software are Windows 10, Linux, audio drivers, wireless drivers. Examples of application software are Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop, Google Chrome.


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