Software is a general term for the various kinds of programs used to operate computers and related devices. Anything that can be stored electronically is called software. Software can be thought of as the variable part of a computer The computer is a hardware device that reads software too. Most of the software on your computer comes in the form of programs. A program consists of "instructions" that tell the computer what to do, how to behave.
Software is often divided into two categories:
Systems software : Includes the operating system and all the utilities that enable the computer to function. It supports application software
Applications software : Includes programs that do real work for users. It includes operating systems and any For example, word processors, spreadsheets, and database management systems fall under the category of applications software.
Programming software usually provides tools to assist a programmer in writing computer programs and software using different programming languages in a more convenient way. The tools include text editors, compilers, interpreters, linkers, debuggers, and so on.
The term middleware is sometimes used to describe programming that mediates between application and system software or between two different kinds of application software (for example, sending a remote work request from an application in a computer that has one kind of operating system to an application in a computer with a different operating system).
Utility is a small useful program with limited capability. It is an additional and difficult-to-classify category of software. Some utilities come with operating systems. Utilities tend to be separately installable and capable of being used independently from the rest of the operating system.
Software can be purchased or acquired as:
Shareware: usually intended for sale after a trial period
Liteware: shareware with some capabilities disabled
Freeware: free software but with copyright restrictions
Public Domain Software: free with no restrictions
: software where the source code is furnished and users agree not to limit the distribution of improvements.
How software can be obtained?
Software is often packaged on CD-ROMs and diskettes
. Today, much purchased software, shareware, and freeware is downloaded over the Internet. A new trend is software that is made available for use at another site known as an application service provider.
General kinds of application software include
Productivity software, which includes word processors, spreadsheets
Graphics software for graphic designers
Specialized scientific applications
Vertical market or industry-specific software