Software and Its Types
Software is a set of instructions that makes the computer to perform tasks. Software tells the computer what to do and how to do. A computer performs different operations according to the instruction of software. Software is developed in a computer programming language.
Types of Software
Software can be classified into following two main categories or types:
1- System Software
2- Application Software
A program or set of programs that is especially designed to control different operations of computer system is called system software. It controls the working of different components of the computer. The system also enables the other application programs to execute properly.
Operating systems, utility programs, and device drivers are the examples of system software. Operating system is the main and most popular type of system software.
Some examples of application software are;
1- MS DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System)
2- MS Windows
3- Disk Defragment
4- Backup Software
A program or set of programs that are especially designed to solve the specific problems of users, are called application software. It is also known as software package.
There are Different kinds of application software such as commercial software, scientific software, financial packages, Games, multimedia software.
Some examples of application software are;
1- Word processor such as MS-Word
2- Spreadsheet such as MS-Excel
3- Database software such as MS-Access
4- Graphic software such as Adobe Photoshop and CorelDraw
5- Communication Software such as Internet Explorer
Software is a set of instructions that makes the computer to perform tasks. Operating System is the most fundamental of all the System programs. The Operating System controls the entire Computers’ resources and provides the base upon which the application program scan be written. Operating System has been defined in different ways by different people. Some of the definitions are:
- An Operating System is program that makes the computing power available to users by controlling the hardware.
- Another definition is that Operating System is a program that controls the execution of application programs. It masks the details of the hardware to application programs.
Some of Important Functions of an Operating System
- Memory Management
Memory management refers to management of Primary Memory or Main Memory.
For a program to be executed, it must in the main memory. Operating System does the following activities for memory management.
– Keeps tracks of primary memory i.e. what part of it are in use by whom, what part are not in use. – In multiprogramming, OS decides which process will get memory when and how much.
– Allocates the memory when the process requests it to do so.
– De-allocates the memory when the process no longer needs it or has been terminated.
- Processor Management
In multiprogramming environment, OS decides which process gets the processor when and how much time. This function is called process scheduling. Operating System does the following activities for processor management.
- Keeps tracks of processor and status of process. Program responsible for this task is known as traffic controller.
- Allocates and de-allocates the processor (CPU) to a process.
- Device Management
OS manages device communication via their respective drivers. Operating System does the following activities for device management.
- Keeps tracks of all devices. Program responsible for this task is known as the I/O controller.
- Decides which process gets the device when and for how much time.
- Allocates the device in the efficient way.
- File Management
A file system is normally organized into directories for easy navigation and usage. These directories may contain files and other directions. Operating System does the following activities for file management.
- Keeps track of information, location, uses, status etc. The collective facilities are often known as file system.
- Decides who gets the resources.
- Allocates the resources.
By means of password and similar other techniques, preventing unauthorized access to programs and data.
Types of Operating System
- Single user/ single tasking OS
- Single user/Multitasking OS
- Multi user/ Multitasking OS
- Real time Operating System
- Single user/Single tasking OS
An operating system that allows a single user to perform just one task at a time is a single user/single tasking operating system. MS-DOS is one example of a single tasking Operating System.
- Single user /Multitasking OS
An Operating System that allows a single user to perform two or more functions at once. Mostly personal computers run such OS’s. Microsoft Windows Operating system is example of such operating systems.
- Multi user/Multi-Tasking Operating system.
An operating system that allows multiple users to use programs that are simultaneously running on a single network server. Each user has its own unique session. Linux, Unix, windows server are examples of such Operating system.
- Real time OS
A system is said to be real time if it is required to complete its work and deliver its services on time.
Example: Flight control system, industrial control system, medical imaging system.