Software means a set of programs, procedures and other associated documentation which describes what the program does and how it is to be used. Hardware and software both have to work together. A number of software’s can be run on the same hardware to perform different types of jobs. The software acts as an interface between the user and the computer.
Software is mainly classified into:
- Application Software
- System Software
Application software is a program or a set of programs which are written to carry out a specific application.eg. Payroll, financial accounting etc. Nowadays special application software or packages for specialized areas like drawing, engineering, manufacturing, banking, and publishing are available. The set of programs which together make an application package are called application programs.
The systems software controls the working of the computer system. It helps the user to use the computer by allowing him to communicate with the system. System software controls the working of other software’s, hardware, hardware devices like printers, memory, CPU etc. Thus, they make the operation of the computer more efficient. The programs included in system software are systems programs. Without the systems programs, it would not be possible for the application programs to work on the computer. The systems software is generally provided by the manufacturer of the computer hardware. Without the systems software the hardware would not work.
These are a set of programs or tools which are used in program development or for performing limited tasks, eg. scandisk.
With the advances in technology it is now possible to make the software available on ROM (Read Only Memory) chips. These chips, which form a part of the software, have the programs in them. Thus programs available on hardware are called Firmware. Today not only systems software, but even some dedicated application programs are being made available on firmware.