Software can simply be defined as the coded instructions that are sent to the computer, which when received by the computer, carries out the tasks the user desires. The commands govern the operation of the computer and all the programs that run on the computer at a given time. Every program installed on your computer is made up of some coded material. This is what the computer reads and carries out the commands required of it during the utilization of the program. The types of computer software can be categorized into three:
1. System software
Also referred to as operating system, it is the software used by the computer to convert and translate inputs from different sources into a machine language. It is the task of an OS to organize the hardware components of a computer. It is also the System software offers a shield of protection to all the other software applications. With the OS, support is also provided to the physical components of computers. Many Os exist in the market. The windows operating system is one that has made a lot of wave in the system software industry. Other operating systems also abound. Among these is UNIX, which is used for large office setups with powerful networks. We also have HP -UX and AIX, used by HP computers. Apache OS is also popular especially with web servers.
2. Application software:
Application software are the most commonly known and used types of computer software. Application software covers almost all the day-to -day activities done with the computer. Some examples of application software are the Microsoft office suite which includes Word, Excel, publisher and PowerPoint. Many people extensively use these applications. With Internet explorer, Netscape and Mozilla Firefox, people gain access to access the internet. Outlook express is software used for email management. One characteristic of the application software is the user interfaces.
3. Programming language software:
These types of computer software are exclusively used by computer programmers. A programming language is a set instructions used for creating application software and operating system. Basic tools used by the programming software are Compilers, interpreters, linkers and text editors. Examples of this kind of software are C++, Simlab and Java. Java is a programming language for internet applications. Most professional program developers use the C++ language. The program can also be used in developing operating systems. PHP is another language used for internet applications. A new class of languages now exists for the mobile devices. These are light weight languages used for designing mobile applications.
All Computer software works with a programming language. The process runs like a chain reaction. The chain is initiated by transferring the command. The computer software now generates the Machine code which ends the whole process.