What is Software? What are the types of software?

A computer system is made up of software and hardware. If a computer has only hardware and no software, it is not a complete computer system. Computer hardware needs software to work with each other.

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What is Software?

A software is called a set of computer programs. Computer programmers write many lines of code to create computer programs. There is a purpose for creating every software. People who create software are called software developers. Other names for software are applications, apps, programs.

If you still don't understand what the software is, there is no need to worry. For now, you should understand that apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Google Maps are examples of software.

Nowadays many types of software have been created but all these software can be kept in two categories – system software and application software.

Types of Software

System Software

A system software tells the computer how to work. When you start the computer, you see the name of the company that manufactures 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 manufactures the computer. This happens because the computer already has a software installed on it.

Computer hardware also requires software to function. Software that is created for computer devices like audio card, video card, USB port, etc. are called device drivers.

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

The operating system allows us 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, you cannot install that software.

There are lots of operating systems available nowadays the most popular of which are – Windows 10, Windows 11, Macintosh, Linux.

Application Software

Application software is the software that you use for any of your work. Like – Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Excel, WhatsApp. You use Photoshop to edit photos. You use Microsoft Word to create documents.

Difference between System software and Application software

  • System software is used to operate computer hardware and all software. Application software is used by a user to perform a specific task.
  • System software acts as an interface between computer hardware and application software. Application software works on a platform provided by system software.
  • System software does not require application software to run. Application software cannot run without system software.
  • A computer system cannot function without software. It is not mandatory to install application software in the computer.
  • System software runs when the computer starts and turns off 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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