Computer Hardware & Software

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Computer Software

Computer needs to be given instructions to perform any task. A set of instructions for a specific task is termed a routine and a complete set of instructions to execute a related set of tasks is a program. Software refers to the set of computer programs, procedures that describe the programs, how they are to be used. We can say that it is the collection of programs, which increase the capabilities of the hardware. Software guides the computer at every step where to start and stop during a particular job. The process of software development is called programming.

Computer software can be divided into two major categories :
1. Systems Software
2. Applications Software

System Software
System software are general programs designed for performing tasks such as controlling all operations required to move data into and out of the computer. It communicates with printers, card reader, disk, tapes etc. monitor the use of various hardware like memory, CPU etc. Also system software are essential for the development of applications software. System Software allows application packages to be run on the computer with less time and effort. Remember that it is not possible to run application software without system software.
System Software are three types :
1. System Management Programs
2. System Support Programs
3. System Development Programs

Application Software
Application Software is a set of programs to carry out operations for a specific application. For example, payroll is an application software for an organization to produce pay slips as an output. Application software is useful for word processing, billing system, accounting, producing statistical report, analysis of numerous data in research, weather forecasting, etc. In later modules you will learn about MS WORD, Lotus 1-2-3 and BASE III Plus. All these are application softwares.

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