Software is a set of programs, which is designed to perform a well-defined function. A program is a sequence of instructions written to solve a particular problem.
Software is the language of a computer. And like human language, there are many different computer languages. Essentially, computer software can be divided into three main groups depending on their use and application. These are system software or operating system referred simply as the OS, application software and programming languages. Usually most of us interact with a computer using application software.
There are two types of software:
- System Software
- Application Software
1. System Software
The system software is a collection of programs designed to operate, control, and extend the processing capabilities of the computer itself. System software is generally prepared by the computer manufacturers. These software products comprise of programs written in low-level languages, which interact with the hardware at a very basic level. System software serves as the interface between the hardware and the end users.
Some examples of system software are Operating System, Compilers, Interpreter, Assemblers, etc.
Here is a list of some of the most prominent features of a system software −
- Close to the system
- Fast in speed
- Difficult to design
- Difficult to understand
- Less interactive
- Smaller in size
- Difficult to manipulate
- Generally written in low-level language
Application software products are designed to satisfy a particular need of a particular environment. All software applications prepared in the computer lab can come under the category of Application software.
Application software may consist of a single program, such as Microsoft’s notepad for writing and editing a simple text. It may also consist of a collection of programs, often called a software package, which work together to accomplish a task, such as a spreadsheet package.
Examples of Application software are the following:
- Payroll Software
- Student Record Software
- Inventory Management Software
- Income Tax Software
- Railways Reservation Software
- Microsoft Office Suite Software
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft PowerPoint
Features of application software are as follows:
- Close to the user
- Easy to design
- More interactive
- Slow in speed
- Generally written in high-level language
- Easy to understand
- Easy to manipulate and use
- Bigger in size and requires large storage space