Different Categories of Computer Software

By | March 18, 2017

Software is a set of programs or set of instructions that is made to manage and control the function of a computing device. Software can be developed and used for different purposes to deal with the specific tasks. It is virtual in nature and does not occupy the physical space. Upgrading a software is a simple & convenient task and allows a user to use its different features.

Software That are Available are as Follows:

  • System software
  • Application software

1. System Software
System software works in the background and enables the application software to interact with each other. System software is used to start & run computer system and includes different application and network software. It makes the computer system to run smoothly. And can also be treated as a collection of programs that is used to control and organize the hardware and other application software. Examples of system software are operating systems, assemblers and debuggers, system utilities, device drivers, file management utilities, disk operating systems (DOS), programming language translators, communication software, compiler and interpreters etc.

Examples of system software and it’s features
i. Operating system

  • Operating system maintains the communication between different hardware devices and it is available in storage device of a computer.
  • Operating system provides the proper support for the execution and development of other application software.
  • It instructs the computer hardware and software while operating.
  • Operating system effectively does the controlling and monitoring work for different hardware devices like Central Processing Unit (CPU), memory and peripheral devices like monitor, printer, etc.
  • It creates a user interface that allows the user to give the instructions and commands to the operating system.

Examples for operating system: Microsoft Windows, Linux, Unix, Android, MS-Dos, IOS, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, etc.

ii. Utility programs

  • Utility software or programs can be considered as a set of one or more programs that allow users to deal with system maintenance tasks in an efficient manner.
  • One of the utility programs that we often use is the anit-virus applications that protect the computer system from different virus and malwares.
    Compression utilities compresses the size of the file which consists of large amount of data and decompresses it back to normal size. Windows has a compression utility of .zip files whereas Linux supports .tar, .gz and .zip types.
  • If the file consisting of important data mistakenly got deleted or the file automatically got damaged, then with the help of data recovery utilities the data consisting file can be restored.
  • In a computer system disk defragmenter works towards the stored data that is stored in disks and reorganizes the data.

Examples of utility software: Disc cleanup, Disk Defragmenters, Data backup, Registry cleaners, Antivirus, Microsoft paint, DirectX.

2. Application software
Application software are useful to solve or perform a specific task and it is a collection or set of programs.
Application software are used for different purposes and are designed to do specific tasks in various sectors like banking, railway or airline reservation, generating the bills like electricity & telephone, etc. With application software managing the task becomes convenient and it is quite easier for the end user to work with it. Types of application software are Word processing software, Database software, Spreadsheet software, Multimedia software, Presentation software, Enterprise software, Application suites.
Application software can also be categorized further as:

  • Packaged software
    Packaged software are such software that are fully protected and without the permission of the real owner they cannot be used. This software can be considered as copyrighted software. Packaged software are made for the purposes according to the different need and wants of the user. And these software are produced or made in large quantity and focuses to benefit more number of users.
  • Custom software
    Custom software are mainly used for specific applications where it provides some advanced features to the end used. It has different features than such applications which provides the standard features.
  • Shareware
    Shareware is that category of the application software which allow the user to use features of a software just for a limited period. It can be treated as trial period of using software. The trial period can be of 30 – 60 days or may have extended period. After completion of the trial period if the user wants to get benefited of the same application or software then they have to take the subscription.
  • Freeware
    Freeware is that category of application software where a software will be having the copyright. And is fully protected from getting misused. But it is available free for the user and they can get its benefits without paying anything.
  • Public domain
    Public domain provides the benefit at public level and they are not copyrighted. They are freely available for the user and does not contain any restrictions. The user can use these software for their personal purpose and they are allowed to use it as per their need.

Examples of application software: MS Word & WordPad, Real Player, Media Player, Oracle, MS Access, Customer relationship management system, OpenOffice, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Power Point, Keynotes.

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