Software is a part of your computer that is visually nonexistent. You can only see the visual representation of it on your monitor, but you can’t actually see the sum of its parts. This is where the hardware steps in. It is an array of physical components carefully built and assembled to constitute a computer system.
Motherboard, processor, keyboard, hard drive, those are all parts of your hardware. Software, on the other hand, lies deep beneath your computer case cover, hiding precious encoded information or simply a set of instructions that the physical part relies on.
The term software was born in the mind of a British mathematician and a cryptanalyst, Allan Turing. The man who cracked the infamous Nazi Enigma machine first came upon the idea of proposing the term.
And the first one who used it in this particular sense was the American mathematician John Wilder Turkey, in 1957.
Types and application
These are the most common computer software types:
– Application software. A program that is used for performing special tasks outside of the computer’s basic functionality. Web browsers, animation software, antivirus protection, 3D modeling are just some of the labels. Because of the power of today’s modern computers, the list could go on forever.
– System software. A group of programs used for operating the computer hardware. Their primary goal is to create a platform for application execution. There are three types of system software:
– Operating systems. An operating system is basically a collection of software that manages computer resources. Supervisory programs, window systems, and little things called boot loaders, and shells are the fundamental organs of your system.
– Device drivers. These are a necessity if you want to operate a specific device physically attached to your computer. Everything you stick into your motherboard, so to speak, needs a corresponding driver to work properly. Every PC needs at least one input and one output device and these days, with all those gadgets on the market, you should be having a handful of device drivers in your machine.
– Utilities. Consider them as medical nurses of a PC environment. Their job is conducting a thorough and timely maintenance of your computer.
The last, but the least desirable form is malicious software. A program specifically developed to harm your computer.
When it comes to corporate and commercial applications, you will find software in just about any aspect of modern day living. Education, science, and healthcare are the most common fields benefiting from computer software application.