Computer Software Explained



The different types of software used in computers are described and their functions explained.

Beside the hardware making up the different parts of a computer, instructions are needed for it to run and do what it is supposed to do. Computer programs, which are sets of instructions, called software are needed so that computers run and execute given tasks. There are three major types of software that computers use: system software , application software and programming software.

System Software

A set of computer programs that control, manage, direct and support all operations of a computer system. System software also organizes memory allocation and maintains security of the computer system. Examples of system software are drivers, operating systems, servers, window systems. All computers need operating systems among which are windows, UNIX and Mac OS.

Application Software

Application Software are computer programs that help in carrying out certain tasks. Examples: Databases that hold records of information about people; educational software that are used in teaching and learning; mathematical software that carry out large and time consuming calculations; spreadsheets helps you to do calculations; word processing helps you write and modify texts and pictures and web browsers help you open and read web pages.

Programming Software

A set tools in the form of computer programs that assist in developing other computer programs. Example: text editors, compilers and debuggers.


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Updated: April 2014

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