Computer Software - Computer Fundamentals

What is software in computer? How many types of software are there?

Software is a part of computer system that contains data or set of instructions. It is considered as set of programs, which is then executed to perform a well-defined function. A program consists of a set of instructions which are used to perform a specific task in an orderly manner.

There are two types of software −

  • System Software
  • Application Software

System Software

The system software is a group of programs designed to operate, control, perform and extend the processing capabilities of the computer itself. System software is generally prepared by the computer manufacturers. These software products contain mainly programs which are written in low-level languages, understandable language where they interact with the hardware at a very basic level. It is very cumbersome to write a program in the machine language. System software acts as the interface between the hardware and the end users.

Some examples of system software are Operating System, Compilers, Interpreter, Assemblers, etc.


Here is a list of some of the most prominent features of a system software −

  • Close to the system
  • Very fast in speed
  • Complicated to design
  • Difficult to understand
  • Less interactive
  • Smaller in size
  • Difficult to manipulate
  • Generally written in low-level language i.e machine language

Application Software

Application software products are specially designed to satisfy the needs of the user to perform the functions properly. All software applications prepared in the computer lab can come under the category of Application software.

Application software may consist of a single program, such as Microsoft's notepad. It is used to write and edit a simple text. It may also consist of a series of programs, often called a software package, which work together to perform a specific task, such as a spreadsheet package.

Examples of Application software are the following −

  • Payroll Software
  • Student Record Software
  • Inventory Management Software
  • Income Tax Software
  • Railways Reservation Software
  • Microsoft Office Suite Software
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint


Features of application software are as follows −

  • Close to the user
  • Easy to design
  • More interactive
  • Slow in speed
  • Generally written in high-level language
  • Easy to understand
  • Easy to manipulate and use
  • Bigger in size and requires large storage capacity.

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