Computer Software

Computer Software || Types - Features ,etc || Computer Fundamentals


The terms hardware and software are frequently mentioned in connection with computers. Hardware is the term given to the physical parts of the computer. And, the software is the term given to the programs of the computer. The computer can do nothing on its own. We must give instructions to do any task. The set of instructions written in a language that can be understood by the computer is called a computer program. The term software is the collection of computer programs and associated documents.
In order to produce useful output, the hardware and software must work together. Nothing useful can be done with the hardware only and software cannot be utilized without hardware. There are two types of software. They are:
  • System Software
  • Application Software

System Software

System software is a set of one or more programs designed to control the operation of a computer system. Those programs don’t solve specific problems. They are general programs written to assist humans in the use of the computer system. In general, system software supports the running of other software, communicates with peripheral devices, supports the development of other types of software make the operation of the computer system more effective and efficient. The programs included in system software are called system programs and the person who prepares system software is called a system programmer. The system software is classified into two categories. They are:
  • System Management Software
  • System Development Software

System Management Software

System management software is responsible for the proper management and functioning of the computer system. All types of management between the computer hardware and software are performed by system management software. There are three types of system management software. They are:
  • Operating System
  • Device drivers
  • Utility software

a. Operating System

An operating system (OS) is an integrated set of programs that are used to manage the various resources and overall operations of a computer system. The objective of the operating system is to improve the performance and efficiency of a computer system. Like the manager of a company, an operating system is responsible for the smooth and efficient operation of the entire computer system. The operating system provides the platform on which all other programs run. The major function of the operating system are:
  • Process management
  • Memory management
  • Input / Output management
  • File management and so on.
Some of the examples of the operating systems are MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/Vista, UNIX, Linux, Mac OS, and so on.

b. Device drivers

A device driver is a software that is responsible for the smooth functioning of the hardware device that is connected to the computer. When we add a new device to the computer, we need to install new software called a device driver. Device Drivers will coordinate with the operating system and the newly installed hardware functions properly and smoothly.

c. Utility Software

Utility software is the supporting software that is used to perform specific tasks related to the maintenance of the computer system. Some of the utility software is included in Operating System software, some are available as a separate utility in the market. utility programs are also called service programs. Examples of utility software are Norton utilities, PC tools, WinZip, Partition magic, backup utility, disk defragmentation, and so on.

System Development Software

System development software refers to the set of programs that are used to develop computer programs. System development software is not used to develop computer programs. System development software is not used by a normal user of the computer. They are used by programmers for the development of new programs. System development software is categorized into two types. They are:
  • Programming Languages
  • Language Processors / Translators.

a. Programming Languages.

Programming Language is also called a computer language. A computer language is a means of communication between people and the computer. With the help of a computer language, a programmer tells a computer what s/he wants it to do. All computer languages have a vocabulary of their own. All the computer languages can be classified further into the following three categories.
  • Machine Language
  • Assembly Language
  • high-level Language
QBasic, C, C++, and Java are some examples of programming languages.

b. Language Processor

Language processor is the system software that is used to translate the instructions written in a programming language into machine-understandable code. There are three types of language translators. They are:
  • Assembler
  • Interpreter
  • Compiler

Application Software

Application software is a set of one or more programs that are designed to do a specific task. it is made to fulfill the user’s demand. Application software is also called an application package. for example, a payroll package produces payslips as the output, word processing jobs are done by MS Word, School Management System processes examination results are produced marks sheets. They are of two types.
  • Packaged software
  • Combined or Tailored software

a. Packaged Software

Packaged software is the ready-made software developed by a company. it is developed for global users to perform their generalized tasks. MS Word, Excel, Photoshop, and CorelDRAW are some examples of packaged software. Some of the common packaged software are:
  1. Word processing package: MS Word, Word Perfect.
  2. Spreadsheet package: MS Excel, Lotus 1-2-3.
  3. DBMS package: MS Access, Oracle, MySQL.
  4. Accounting Package: Tally, FACT.
  5. Graphical Package: Adobe Photoshop, CorelDRAW, Freehand.
  6. Engineering package: CAD, AutoCAD, CAM.

b. Customized or Tailored Software

Customized or tailored software is application software that performs a specific task for a specific person or organization. it is made due to the specific requirement of the user. for example, the school management system of GBS, the Payroll package of Biz Solution company, and so on. This software is made according to the specific requirements of the organizations. So, they are tailored software.

Differences between Packaged and Tailored Software

Packaged Software Tailored Software
The requirement of many organizations and users can’t be perfectly matched.The requirements of the user or organization can be perfectly matched.
This software can be trusted as they are made by reputed software houses.This software is generally made by local programmers. So, it may contain errors.
They can not be changed easily.They can be changed easily.
They are expensive for small organizations.They are cheap.

Open Source Software

Open Source software is software whose source code is freely available to the users. In other words, the software that falls under General Public License (GPL) is open-source software. Users can customize the source code of the open-source software according to their requirements. They needn’t buy the license to use the software. Source code can be modified and re-distributed to any other person legally. This software is available free of cost. So, we also call them free and open-source software (FOSS). Some of the examples of open source software are Linux, Open Office, Apache, Mozilla, and so on.
Some of the licensed software and their alternative open source software are:
Licensed SoftwareOpen Source Software
MS WindowsLinux
MS OfficeOpen Office
MS EdgeMozilla Firefox

Open Source Operating System

UNIX is a popular open-source operating system used for a large variety of scientific engineering purposes and other applications.

Features of Open Source Software

  1. Open-source software is freely available.
  2. It can be downloaded from the internet.
  3. Everyone can use and redistribute the software to others.
  4. There is no restriction of law to use them.
  5. Everyone is free to modify the code of the open-source software.
  6. Anyone can study how the software works.
  7. No license is required to use open-source software.

Similar Posts


  1. It is truly a nice and helpful piece of information. I am happy that you just shared this useful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *