Software types

The software is a set of instructions written in computer programs that represent its logical element. These instructions give the computer the ability to perform different functions.

Depending on their function, we can classify software into three types: system software, application software, and embedded software. Each of these, in turn, present other divisions that perform specific actions within the electronic device. We will explain them to you below.

Software typesDivisionsFunctionExamples
system softwareBoot programTurning on the computerBIOS
Operating systemsComputer and user interfaceWindows
Programming softwareConstruction of applications by usersCompilers
Management Library Manager Terminal
Diagnostic and maintenance softwareDetection of faults and malfunctionsDisk utility Disk
Virus protection
Data compression
Device driver
(driver Device)
Allows the function of a device when connected to the computerWebcam
driver Printer
driver Stylus driver
app softwareStandard applicationsUtilities of massive useWord processors
manager Graphics manager
Custom appsLimited use utilitiesBank entity software
Communication softwareConnection between computersEmail
Teleworking platforms
Integrated SoftwareNoneElectronic equipment controlSoftware in televisions, video games, microwaves.

system software

The system software includes all those programs that are used to activate and manage the internal resources of the computer. Within these software we have the following divisions:

Basic software or startup program

The system basic input / output system (BIOS by its acronym: Basic Input Output System ) or boot program is the first program that the machine is run when. It is a system software that tests the computer’s devices and loads the operating system into memory. This software is located in ROM ( Read Only Memory ).

Operating systems

Operating systems are the softwares that control computer resources and function as the interface between user and computer. Through them, the aim is to optimize the use of the processor, memory and input and output devices to allow users to manage various programs efficiently.

The operating system is tied to the capacity of the physical equipment: computer, smartphone, tablet or laptop. Among the operating systems we have as examples:

  • MS / DOS ( MicroSoft Disk Operating System ): Microsoft’s operating system for personal computers from the early 1980s to the 20th century.
  • Microsoft Windows – The most used operating system of all time that has evolved since 1985.
  • MAC OS: Apple Macintosh operating system for your desktops and laptops.
  • UNIX: multi-program and multi-user operating system.
  • Linux: public domain operating system.
  • iOS: iPhone and iPad operating system.
  • Android: smartphone operating system.
  • Harmony OS: Huawei systems operating system.

Programming software

They are the system software programs that facilitate the construction of user applications. Within this group of software we have:

  • Assemblers
  • Compilers
  • Bug Trackers
  • File management systems
  • Program Library Manager
  • Terminals

Diagnostic and maintenance programs

They are the programs that are in charge of detecting faults and malfunctions of hardware and software. It is also called as Utilities or Utilities . Among these we have:

  • Data compressor.
  • Protection against viruses.
  • Disk fragmenter.
  • Airport utility.
  • Disk utility.

Device drivers

Device drivers are classified within system software. These programs are written to allow a device that is connected to a computer to function. Examples of these are:

  • Webcam driver.
  • Stylus driver.
  • Printer driver.

You may be interested in knowing the difference between algorithm and program .

Application software

Application software is that program that provides instructions to carry out a task that is not related to the operation of the computer itself. These tasks are what actually encourage widespread computer use, such as writing a text, listening to music, and calculating a company’s annual budget.

Standard application software

Standard applications are software that is developed for the general public and sold in bulk. They can have different versions for different hardware platforms. Examples of standard applications are:

  • Word processors: Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Apple Pages.
  • Electronic spreadsheet: Microsoft Excel, Quattro Pro, Lotus.
  • Database manager: MySQL, MS Acess, dBase.
  • Gestor de gráficos: Corel Draw, Paint Brush, Adope Photoshop, GIMP.
  • Internet browsers: Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Mozilla Firefox.
  • Gestor de multimedia: Windows Media Player, VLC Media Player.

Custom application software

There are applications that are developed for a specific client, with specifications for a particular platform. For example, the software of a banking entity is tailored to the requirements of that entity.

Communication software

The communication software has the instructions that allow the exchange of information between computers. These are widely used in telecommuting, where texts, videos and conferences can be sent in real time. Examples of communication software are:

  • Slack
  • Zoom
  • RingCentral
  • GoToMeeting
  • Skype
  • Email

Integrated software

Embedded or embedded software is software that controls the functions of electronic equipment that is not visible to the user. The main characteristic of this software is that it is developed simultaneously with the computer. The most popular operating systems in embedded systems are Linux and Windows Embedded .

In devices such as televisions, airplanes and video games, the software is integrated. For example, the software built into a microwave is responsible for responding to the panel keys, controlling the LCD screen, and turning the elements that heat food on and off.

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