Types of software (applicaion software, system software)

In simple word, Software is the collection of different program. The set of a computer program, booting, procedure and associated documentation related to the effective operation of a computer system are termed as software. A computer is an electronic machine that can only understand and process numbers. A computer can series huge set of instruction which tells the computer, what process to carry out from the data. Those series of meaningful instruction is called computer program. Those programs when combined form software. A software package is a collection of program that solves a particular program or a specific type of job. For instance, photo editing software contains programs for editing, resizing pictures etc. Below is full details about different types of software.


The Software is a large collection of instructions that tells a computer what to do and how to do.

Types of Software

The set of a computer program, booting, procedure and associated documentation related to the effective operation of a computer system are termed as software. We use different types of software according to the requirement of our problem. Special types of software, that controls the entire operations of a computer system and other peripheral devices connected to the computer is called Operating System Software. Microsoft word which is a word processing software is used to create and edit text documents such as reports letters, application, etc. Computer software can be categorized into two major types. They are:


  1. System Software

  2. Application software

types of software

  1. System software.

The type of software that supports and manages the computer resources and operations of the computer system is known as system software. They are essential to run the computer. It creates a communication link between the computer and user. It also provides and maintains an environment or platform for running application software. The main function of system software is to create a bridge between computer system hardware and application software.

The type of computer program that is designed to operate a computer’s hardware and application programs is known as system software.

Functions of system software

  • Monitoring the use of all the hardware components
  • Providing an easy and efficient interaction between the computer and user.
  • Communication with the peripheral devices such as a scanner, printer, webcam etc.
  • Managing files and folders
  • Providing security
  • Providing platform for application software

The system software can be divided into four sub-Types.

  1. Operating System

An Operating system (OS) is a type of system software that helps to establish communication between computer hardware and other software. It also controls and coordinates overall operations of the computer system. Application programs access input/output devices or execution program instructions through Operation system. It provides a user-friendly environment (interface) to communicate between user and computer system. When a user wants to carry out any operation, the command is given to the application program which is then delivered to the operating system.

Some of the basic tasks performed by the Operating System are:

      • Operating System manages input and output
      • It is responsible for managing all the other programs
      • It manages files, documents, and folders
      • It manages and controls all the hardware peripherals and coordinates them with other programs
      • It manages the primary memory
      • It provides security to the computer system.

There are various types of Operating system. Some common examples are Windows, DOS, Linux, Unix etc.

      1. Utility Software

It is a type of software which is used for maintenance of computer system. This software plays a vital role in making the computer function properly. Special jobs like formatting disk, Virus cleaning, Defragmentation etc are carried out by Utility software. Some examples of commonly used operating software are Antivirus, Network utilities, Screen savers, File managers, Disk defragmenters, Disk cleaners etc.

      1. Device driver software

The Device driver is a type of software that controls the devices attached to the computer system. When you attach a device to a computer, you might have seen the computer searching for suitable device driver, you can use the device only upon the successful installation of required driver. The device driver tells the operating system how to interact or communicate with peripheral devices like scanner, printers, modem etc. The device drivers of commonly used input/output devices like mouse, keyboard, pen drive etc are automatically installed by the Operating system from its built-in device driver’s collection. An Operating system can search for device drivers of some devices on the internet and install it. Drivers of installed devices can be automatically updated with the Operating System. The operating system also loads the drivers of all devices during the booting process. Examples Printer’s driver, Scanner’s driver, Webcam’s Driver, etc.

      1. Language Processor Software.

A computer is a digital machine and understands only machine language also called binary language (0, 1). But writing instructions using binary digits is very tedious, difficult and time-consuming. So to make programming easier people developed other artificial languages also known as programming languages to develop computer program. But the problem is the instruction written on such programming languages cannot be directly understood by the machine. Those instruction needs to be translated into machine understandable language (0’s and 1’s) by using language processor software.

Language processor is a type of system software that translates the programming language code into machine code.

There are three types of language processor

      1. Assembler
      2. Interpreter
      3. Compiler
      • Assembler

Assembler is a type of software that converts assembly language codes into machine codes. After reading each assembly instructions, it converts them into equivalent machine instructions. The code can run only when all the conversion process is completed.  In case of any bugs or errors in assembly code, the errors need to be removed and the assembly instruction needs to be assembled again.

      • Compiler

The compiler is a language processor, which translates high-level programming codes into a machine understandable code. A Compiler translates the whole block of high-level code at once, converts it into equivalent executable machine code, and the code is executed. The process of converting the high-level code into machine code using compiler is known as compilation. If there are any errors in high-level code, all errors are listed when the compilation process is completed. Once compiler translates the program, there is no need of re-translation for program’s execution.

Programming languages like Java, C, C++, Php etc uses Compiler.

The program written in a high-level language is called source code. When the source code is compiled, A compiler produces a machine equivalent code called object code.

      • Interpreter

An interpreter is a type of software that converts the program instruction written in a high-level language into machine code line by line. Unlike compiler Interpreter translates one line of instruction to machine code, executes the instruction, then converts the next line and the process continues. The translation process is interrupted if there is any error on the middle of the program. The program needs to run again from the beginning after removing the errors. QBASIC, GWBASIC, BASICA etc are few examples of programming languages that uses an interpreter.

  1. Application Software

Application software is a type of software that is designed to solve a specific problem of the user or to perform the specific task. There are different types of an application program for solving different types of problem. For instance, Ms-excel is application software that can be used in schools to store marks of students and also for result processing.

Different software companies create these types of software and are available in marked on CDs. It can also be downloaded from the official websites of these companies.

The application software can be sub-divided into two types.

      1. Tailored or customized Software
      2. General or Packaged software
      • Tailored or Customized Software

Sometimes companies, organization or an individual needs specific types of software to solve specific problems, so they ask the software development companies or individual programmers to develop a custom software that meets the requirement to solve their problem. These types of software are known as tailored software. For instance, Payroll system, Result processing, Library management system, Banking system, School management system etc. are the example of customized software. Tailored software can be modified as per the user’s needs.

      • General or Packaged Software

General software are those types of software that are made by software companies to solve the general problems of people. It is not tailored to meet the specific requirement of specific people, It rather targets all the people that might have similar types of problems. For instance, typing letters, writing an essay, storing data, pictures editing etc. Unlike Tailored software package software, there’s no possible way to modify the package software according to user’s requirement.  Some basic examples of these types of software are Ms-excel, MS-access, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Notepad etc.

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