SOFTWARE

A computer must have both hardware and software to work. There are various types of software, with each having a particular function. We have studied about Operating System, Internet Browser, Microsoft Word, Paint, and PowerPoint software.

SOFTWARE HIERARCHY OF COMPUTERS
Fig. SOFTWARE HIERARCHY OF COMPUTERS

TYPES OF SOFTWARE

On the basis of their functions and usage, software can be broadly classified into two categories:

  • System Software
  • Application Software

SYSTEM SOFTWARE

System Software is a group of programs, which enables the functioning of a computer. System software is classified into many categories. Let us discuss some of them.

OPERATING SYSTEM

An Operating System is a group of programs, which act as an interface between the computer user and the computer. It manages the operation of computer resources and devices like memory, processor, input and output devices and storage devices, etc. It gets loaded in computer memory when you switch ON a PC and remains there till the computer is switched OFF. The process of loading an OS into memory is called booting.

Some of the important functions of an Operating System are given below:

Resource Management: An operating system is also said to be a Resource Manager as it manages resources like Central Processing Unit (CPU) or processor, primary memory, secondary storage devices and peripheral devices etc.

File Management: An Operating System manages files by providing features for copying, moving, deleting, creating, and accessing them.

User Interface:  An Operating System provides an interface in which a user can input a command from a prompt or from a Graphical User Interface screen and instruct a computer to do a task.

Single Tasking or Multitasking Ability: An OS provides the feature of doing one task at a time (single-tasking) or multiple tasks at a time (multitasking). Operating System like MS-DOS is ‘single-tasking’ MS Windows is ‘multitasking’.

LANGUAGE PROCESSORS         

A Language Processor is used for writing programs. Language processors are not part of the Operating System.

Compiler: Commands written in high-level language by the user are converted to machine language, which is understood by the computer. Compilers translate the instructions in application-oriented language into machine language

Assembler: An assembly level language processor uses letters and symbols as part of the instruction typed by the user. An assembler is a program that translates instructions written in Assembly language into machine language.

Interpreter: An interpreter converter the program to machine language program, one line at a time.

UTILITIES

Utilities are tools or aids that are used to perform computer file management, disc management a system maintenance etc. Some utilities are inbuilt

 in OS and others are installed separately. Some of the System inbuilt utilities in Windows are Scan disc and Check disk for checking and correcting secondary storage media problems, Explorer utility for file and folder management, and Format utility for formatting floppy discs and hard discs. Some common system utilities that have to be installed separately are the Antivirus and Backup program.

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