Software Concepts

A software is a general term used to represent organized collections of computer data and instructions. Software represents the set of programs that govern the operations of a computer system and makes the hardware run.

Types of Software

Software concept
  • System software
  • Application software


A computer is a machine that does not know anything itself, it requires instructions to perform any task. These instructions are provided to it through software. In short, system software is a specially designed software that controls the hardware and helps application software to run properly.

Types of system software

  • ·        Operating system
  • ·        Language processor
  • ·        Utility software
  • ·        Device drivers

Operating system: An operating system is a program that act as an interface between a user and the hardware. Operating System is just like our secretary. As the boss gives order to his secretary and the secretary does all the work for his boss. Same way, we gives the orders to the operating system and the operating system does it for us.

Language Processor: A language processor is a specially designed system software that can convert source code into an object code or machine code. There are mainly three types of language processors:

1.       Assembler: assembler is the language processor that converts the program written in assembly language into machine language.

2.       Interpreter: interpreter is a type of language processor that translates and executes instructions written in a computer program line-by-line.

3.       Compiler: Compiler is another type of language processor that translates and executes instructions written in a computer program in one go.

Utility software: utility software are those helpful programs that ensure the smooth functioning of the computer. Utility software are those programs that assist the computer by performing housekeeping functions like scanning/cleaning viruses, backing up disks or arranging information.

Some common utility software are Antivirus software, file management tools, Compression tools and disk management tools.

Device Drivers: Device drivers are programs or files that contains set of instructions for the operating system detailing how best to operate or drive a certain hardware device. Each device on your system has its own specific driver. For example, when you buy a new printer then you should be given a software or sets of instruction to run the printer this software or files is called device drivers.


An application software is the set of programs necessary to carry out operations for a specified application. For instance, a software that can perform airways booking functions cannot prepare a result for a school. These are the programs written by programmers to enable computer to perform specific tasks.

Types of Application software are:

Office tools: These are the application software that are used in office for documentation and recoding purposes some commonly used such as word processing software, spreadsheets, presentation software, database systems etc.

Domain specified application software: these types of application software cater to a specific domain or a specific clientele. Some domain specific application software are :

1.       School management software

2.       Payroll system

3.       Financial accounting software

4.       Hotel management software

And many more.


Open source software refers to software whose source code is available to customers and it can be modified and redistributed without any limitation. An OSS may come free of cost or with a payment of nominal charges that its developer may charge in the name of development, support of software.


Proprietary software is the software that is neither open nor freely available. Its use is regulated and further distribution and modification is either forbidden or requires special permission by the supplier or vendor. Source code of proprietary software is normally not available. 

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