Software is an essential part of modern computing. It is the set of instructions that enable a computer to perform tasks and functions. Software can be divided into two main categories: system software and application software. System software is designed to run a computer's hardware and provides a platform for applications to run on.
Application software, also known as end user programs or productivity programs, is software that helps the user complete tasks such as conducting online research, taking notes, setting an alarm, designing graphics, keeping track of accounts, making calculations, or even playing games. There is also another type of software known as closed-source software which is usually paid and has intellectual property rights or patents on the source code. Open source is a type of software in which the software is developed collaboratively and the source code is freely available. Understanding the different types of software can help you identify which type might be most useful to you and your company.
System software is an intermediary or an intermediate layer between the user and the hardware. It helps the user and the hardware to function and interact with each other. When you turn on your computer for the first time, it is the system software that initializes and loads into the system memory. System software runs in the background and is not used by end users.
This is why system software is also known as “low-level software”. The most important system software package for any computer is its operating system. During this time, although different types of programming software were being created, they were generally classified as system software. Other types of system software include programming software, which provides the programming tools needed by software developers; middleware, which is found between system software and applications; and driver software, which operates computer devices and peripherals.
Application software or simply applications can also be referred to as non-essential software, since their requirements are very subjective and their absence does not affect the operation of the system. All the applications we see on our mobile phones are also examples of application software. There are certain programs that are designed exclusively for application development, such as Meteor and Flutter. For example, a browser is an application designed specifically for browsing the Internet, or MS Powerpoint is an application that is specifically used to make presentations.
Every time you open an app on your phone, talk to Alexa, or send an email, you're working with a type of application software. Having a basic understanding of these types of software can give you an idea of how they work and how they could be used for your business. Computer hardware and software need each other and neither of them can be used convincingly on their own. The fusion of hardware and software provides control and flexibility to modern computer systems.
Without software, computers would be of no use. The myriad types of software can be overwhelming for anyone, especially when you don't understand the different types of software and their users thoroughly.