Different Types Of Computer Software

These days, in the language of Practical computer systems, software systems are divided into three main classes: system software, application software and programming software.

  • System Software: the System software is very helpful in running of the computer hardware as well as a computer system. It can include a combination of:
  1. Device drivers: Device drivers or software driver can be defined as a computer program that allows all the high level computer programs to have interaction with the hardware devices. The main purpose of the driver is to communicate with the devices or the communication subsystems with the help of computer bus to which hardware connects. Whenever some calling program invokes a routine in a computer driver, then this driver performs the task of issuing commands to the device. When the device sends its data back to the driver, then the driver may again invoke routines of the original program. Computer Drivers are dependent on hardware and are specific for the operating-systems. These device drivers help in simplifying programming because they act as translators between hardware devices and applications that use it.
  2. Operating system: the operating system is a kind of the software on computer that performs the task of managing hardware by the different programs that use it. It also helps in regulating the ways through which a user can control the computer. Operating systems can be found in all the devices that contain multiple programs stored in the computer ranging from cellular phones to the video game consoles.  Some of the popular and modern operating systems that are used by personal computers are Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.
  3. Server: a server can be defined as the combination of software or hardware that has been designed specially to provide facilities and services to the clients. This term typically refers to the computer that is running server operating systems. Server also refers to that software and dedicated hardware that is capable of providing the services to the users.
  4. Utilities: Utility software can be defined as system software that was designed mainly to perform the tasks like analysis, configuration, optimization and maintainenance of the computer. Utilities are collections of much software together.  However single piece of the utility software is known as the utility or a tool. Utility software is very different from the application software that allows users to perform the tasks like creating the text documents, listening music, playing games, or surfing the web. Utility software does not provide output oriented or user oriented functionality, and focus mainly on the computer infrastructure that included computer hardware, application software, operating system, and data storage. Utilities are technical and targets at the people who have advanced level of the computer knowledge.
  5. Windowing system: A window or windowing system can be defined as a component of the graphical user interface or GUI. More specifically it is related to the desktop environment that supports implementation of the window managers, and also provides basic support to the pointing devices like mice, and keyboards and graphics hardware. Term windowing system mainly refers to other elements of the graphical interface like those that belongs to the window managers or applications. A windowing system can be used to implement graphical primitives like rendering fonts and drawing lines on the screen, to provide an abstraction of graphics hardware effectively from the higher level elements like graphical interfaces and window managers. The main purpose of the windowing system is to enable a computer user to make use of several programs at the same time. Each program then runs in the window provided. Most of the windowing systems have some basic support for re-parenting that allows these windows to overlap.

The main purpose of the system’s software can be considered as the task to unburden an application programmer from all the complex details that are related to a particular computer in use. It also includes accessories like the communications devices, device readers, printers, displays as well as keyboards. They also help in partitioning the resources of a computer like memory as well as processor time in a stable and safe manner. For Example, in the case of Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux

  • Programming Software: the Programming software mainly provides tools that help and assist a programmer so that he can write computer programs as well as software with ease by making use of many different kinds of programming languages in a very convenient way. Some of the popular tools are: compilers, interpreters, debuggers, linkers and text editors. For the programming software, it is necessary to have an application known as IDE or Integrated development environment that attempts and helps in managing all the functions mentioned above.
  • Application Software: Application software helps all the end users in accomplishing their specific tasks that may not be related directly to the computer development. Some of the applications that make use of application software are: industrial automation, video games, business software, telecommunication, quantum chemistry or solid state physics, databases, medical software, educational software, military software, image editing, molecular modelling software, spreadsheet, word processing, simulation software, and Decision making software. The Application software has created impact on many topics and exists mainly for the users.

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