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Software is the programs and routines for a computer or the program material for an electronic device which make it run.

The range of software applications available is virtually unlimited however a computer needs 3 basic types of software just to run. These are the Operating System, a Language Processor, and Utility software. What we are most familiar with and use are called Application Software.


  • Application

    Application software is designed for end users, people like you and I. Some common examples of software include Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Reader, Google Chrome, Gmail, Powerpoint, VLC, and many other similar computer programs that we often use in our daily life.
    Office software is used to create documents, spreadsheets, data files, etc. The most widespread programme here is Microsoft office which can be a subscription (office 365) or a purchased licence (Office 2019) however there are also a range of other options that may be more powerful and generally cheaper.
    FREE versions include Libre Office, Open Office, and some of the on line versions like Google Workspace.
    Which is best for you depends on your personal needs but as most are familair with Microsoft Office versions this is where most people go. I recommend though you look at both Google Workspace if you an on line user, or Open Office (a FREE download) which has more features than Microsoft, at a much better value.

  • System

    System software helps the user, hardware, and application software to interact and function together. These types of computer software allow an environment or platform for other software and applications to work in. This is why system software is essential in managing the whole computer system.
    Microsoft Windows 10 (or an earlier version like Windows 7) are on over three quarters of computers, next best known is the Apple variations, followed by Android and Linux systems. Microsoft Windows is the most expensive of the options.
    Each system has advantages for different situations.
    A majority of servers will use one of the Linux operating systems because they are generally more stable, require less processing power and are fairly easy to set up. You can Use a Linux version on a desktop (or laptop) as well which can give your system a power boost. Linux can be free or mid range in price depending on versions.
    Apple Macintosh compputers run their own version of operating system which is specifically designed for their hardware. For users that need to use Apple specific applications this is an ideal way to go. Apple software is packaged with the computer so cost is part of that, generally fairly pricey.
    Android operating systems have become popular because they don't need such powerful computers and can manage the apps much better than other types. As mobile phones and tablets become more commonplace the Android versions have proliferated and improved significantly. Most Android sytems are free.

  • Programming

    Programming software are programs that are used to write, develop, test, and debug other software, including apps and system software. This is sometimes referred to as Utility software and is designed so developers can readily create applications for us to use. For someone who works at a bespoke software development company, for example, this type of software would make their life easier and efficient. Some types of application software include graphics, spreadsheets, databases, presentation, web browsers, and enterprise software.

  • Driver

    Drivers operate and control devices and peripherals plugged into a computer. Drivers are important because they enable the devices to perform their designated tasks. They do this by translating commands of an Operating System for the Hardware or devices, assigning duties. Therefore, each device connected with your computer requires at least one device driver to function.

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