Computer software have facilitated interaction between us and the computers. What are the different kinds of software? How many are they? Go through these examples of computer software to find the answers.
If hardware can be said to form the body of a computer system, software is its mind. Software refers to computer programs, procedures and documentation that performs certain tasks on a computer system. Following is an extensive list of the examples of different kinds of software.
Application software is that which is designed for the end-users and hence these software are also known as end-user programs. It employs the capabilities of a computer to execute tasks that the user wishes to perform on a computer system. Look at the various examples of application software. They are:
- Content Access Software
- Educational Software
- Enterprise Software
- Information Worker Software
- Media Development Software
- Product Engineering Software
- Simulation Software
Content Access Software
They are used to access content without editing it. Electronic media software such as media players, editor players as also web browsers, which allow user access to web content are some examples of content access software. Game consoles and entertainment software are also examples of content access software.
They are used to deliver tests and track progress. They are used for educational purposes. Training management and classroom management software are some examples of educational software. The software used for purposes of edutainment, a form of entertainment that aims at educating the masses, is also a type of educational software.
It caters to the needs of organization processes and data flow. Customer relationship management and supply chain management software are good examples of enterprise software. Enterprise infrastructure software supports enterprise software systems.
Information Worker Software
It caters to the needs of an individual to manage information pertaining to a project or a single department. Resource management software and documentation tools are some of the popularly used information worker software.
Media Development Software
They are used for generating print and electronic media in the educational and commercial sector. Image organizers and image editing software, animation software like Flash, audio and video editors as well as the web development software are some examples of media development software.
Product Engineering Software
This software is used in the development of hardware and software products. Application programming interfaces and integrated development environment (IDEs) are the well-known examples of product engineering software. Program testing tools, debuggers, compilers and CAD are some other examples of this type of software.
They are used for the simulation of physical and abstract systems. Computer simulators that are used for simulating scientific concepts and social ideas, battlefield, vehicle and flight simulators are some of the popular examples of simulation software.
They are artificial languages that are used to write programs that control the functioning of a computer system. They are the building blocks of computer applications. Go through the complete list of the different programming languages.
It is a computer software that manages and controls hardware in order to enable application software to perform its tasks. System software performs functions like transferring data from memory to the disk or delivering text onto a display device. Following are the different kinds of system software.
- Device Drivers
- Loading Programs
- Operating Systems
They are computer programs, which facilitate the interaction of high-level computer programs with hardware devices. Drivers also provide interrupt-handling mechanisms.
A linker is a program that takes the objects generated by a compiler and combines them to form a single executable program.
Loaders are used for loading programs from executable files into memory, making them ready for execution and then executing them. It is a part of the kernel of an operating system.
An operating system manages and coordinates the activities of a computer. It hosts the applications running on a computer system and also provides certain services to application programs and users. Microsoft Windows and Linux are two of the most commonly used operating systems. There are mobile operating systems like Android, iOS and Mac which are quite popular among mobile users.
It helps in the management of computer hardware and application software. It performs a small range of tasks. Utility software are also known as service routines. Here are some examples of utility software.
- Application Launchers
- Archive Utilities
- Compression Utilities
- Disk Defragmenters
- Editor Utilities
- Encryption Utilities
- Network Managers
- Registry Cleaners
- System Profilers
- System Utilities
- Virus Scanners
They provide application software with an access point to run on a computer system.
They output a single file or a stream when provided with a directory or a set of files.
When they are provided with a file or a single stream, they present the input stream in a compressed form.
They detect computer files whose contents are stored in the form of disjoint fragments and move the fragments together. A disk checker
scans the contents of a hard disk to detect corrupted areas. A disk cleaner helps in segregating the unnecessary files that can be deleted, which are still residing on the hard disk.
Editor utilities directly modify data or files without changing the actual program. They come in forms of binary, hex and text editor utilities.
When they are provided with plain text and an accompanying key, they use encryption algorithms to output the encrypted stream.
They check computer networks, data transfers and log events.
They remove the old registry entries, thus cleaning and optimizing the windows registry. There are a number of popular registry cleaners available today.
They provide computer users with information about software and hardware in the computer system. Backup software are capable of making a copy of all the information on a system or of selected files. Disk compression software is used to compress the data on a disk so that more amount of information can fit onto it.
They are a set of different utility programs that provide methods for routine data management tasks like modifying, copying, merging, renaming and cataloging data sets.
They scan for viruses on a computer system. They are widely known as antivirus software.
They are utility software designed with the purpose of preventing phosphor burn-in of CRT displays. Phosphor burn-in is the discoloration of certain areas on the display due to improper usage of pixels. Screensavers blank the screen or fill it with images, when the display is not in use.
It refers to the software designed for controlling content that is permitted for the user to access. It can determine what content will be available on a particular machine or network. Content-control software are commonly used at homes and in schools to restrict the content that can be accessed over the Internet by children.
Data Recovery Software
Apart from the facility of copying data files, data recovery software supports user needs of backing up important computer data. It allows the user to specify what is to be backed up and when.
Open Source Software
The concept of open source software refers to computer software, whose source code is available to the users (is in the public domain). Users are allowed to use, modify, improve and redistribute open source software. Linux is a well-known example of an open source software.
Contrary to open source software, proprietary software involves restrictions on its use. The creators of proprietary software restrict source code access through legal means or through technical measures.
It is an important class of software, which includes software that are suitable for portable devices. Portable software is used on portable drives like USB and Palm PDA.
Project Management Software
It refers to the software used for scheduling, budget management and resource allocation. It comprises collaboration software and documentation systems.
The term refers to commercial software that is distributed on a trial basis. It is distributed without payment and with limited functionality. Shareware is commonly offered in a downloadable format on the Internet. The distribution of this kind of software aims at giving the users a chance to analyze the software before they become its licensed users.
The basic purpose of spyware is monitoring user behavior. It can also collect personal information, redirect browser activity and change computer settings.
It consists of a content management system created for maintaining weblogs.
This was an overview of the different kinds of computer software along with their examples. Software has given us a platform to communicate with computers and to harness their capacities. Having witnessed the computer era and the software revolution, we can surely consider ourselves fortunate enough to have been a part of it.