Software is a generic term for organized collections of computer data and instructions, often broken into two major categories: system software that provides the basic non-task-specific functions of the computer, and application software which is used by users to accomplish specific tasks.
In other words, software is a set of programs, procedures, algorithms and its documentation concerned with the operation of a data processing system. Software is generally classified into two groups – system software and application software.
System software is responsible for controlling, integrating, and managing the individual hardware components of a computer system so that other software and the users of the system see it as a functional unit without having to be concerned with the low-level details such as transferring data from memory to disk, or rendering text onto a display. An operating system (OS) is a set of software that manages computer hardware resources and provides common services for computer programs. Multithreading operating system: Allows different parts of a single program to run concurrently. Operating systems provide a software platform on top of which other programs, called application programs, can run. A programming language is a computer language programmers use to develop applications, scripts, or other set of instructions for a computer to execute.
Machine language and assembly language are called low level language because they are used to write programs that deal with the low level tasks such as transferring data from memory to disk, or rendering text onto a display. Though assembly language is very close to machine language, computer can’t execute it directly. High level language is a machine-independent programming language, such as C, C++, Java, Perl and COBOL. High level languages were developed towards the end of second generation of computers (COBOL and FORTRAN) and flourished during third and fourth generations.
A compiler is a language processor that converts the instruction of a high level language into machine language as a whole. An interpreter is a language processor that converts one statement of high level language program at a time. Utility software is system software designed to help analyze, configure, optimize or maintain a computer. Utility software usually focuses on how the computer infrastructure (including the computer hardware, operating system, application software, and data storage) operates. Application software, is used to accomplish specific tasks other than just running the computer system. You can group application software into two categories – tailored or customized software and packaged software. There are many tasks in an organization or office that can be automated by writing specific software programs.
Tailored software are the applications developed to solve or automate a particular task of an individual or organization.
Tailored software are developed by employing or hiring a system design and development team who perform system study and find best alternative to solve the problem at hand. Many software houses study the general requirement of computer users and develop software packages.
Package software are complex and with less bugs because it is developed often by a large professional team. Apart from tailored and packaged software there is another software type called customized software.
Liveware is a slang term used to denote people using (attached to) computers, and is based on the need for a human, or liveware, to operate the system using hardware and software. Cache (pronounced cash) memory is extremely fast memory that is built into a computer’s central processing unit (CPU), or located next to it on a separate chip. A set of self-contained instructions that tells a computer how to solve a problem or carry out a task is called a program. System software is a set of programs that organizes, utilizes and controls the hardware in a computer system. Operating systems, utility programs, device drivers and language processors fall into the class of system software.
Operating system is a type of system software that controls and coordinates the internal working of a computer system.
Device drivers are the system software that controls a particular type of device installed in computer. Utility software are system software that are designed to help analyze, configure, optimize and maintain the computer system. Many operating systems have some utility programs build directly into the operating system itself. Disk tool kits, data compression utilities, backup utility programs, virus protectors and screen savers are some utility programs. Disk defragmenters are utilities that analyse the fragmentation (pieces of a file scattered on different location in disk surface) and move the pieces into one place to improve computer performance. Disk checkers like chkdsk, scandisk can scan the contents of a disk to find files or disk areas that are corrupted in some way. Disk cleaners can identify files that are unnecessary to computer operation and can delete them on your permission. Compiler is a language processor that translates a high level language program into machine code in a single operation.
Interpreter is a language processor that translates each statement of user programs in turn into machine code for the computer to execute.

Application Software is a class of computer programs that help users to solve their problems.
Examples of application software are word processors, database programs, web browsers, development tools, drawing, paint, and image editing programs, communication programs. API (Application Programming Interface) is a formal request for services and means ofnicating with other programs that a programmer uses in writing an application program. Application software are further classified into packaged software and tailored or customized software.
Packaged software is a generalized set of programs that allows the computer to perform a specific data processing job for the user. Tailored software or customized software is the software developed to meet the specific requirement of a particular organization, institution or person. Database software allows uses to store and retrieve huge amount of data from database quickly. Spreadsheet software allows uses to perform complex calculation on a large electronic sheet. Presentation software allows users to create and present information in the form of display slides. Image editing software allows uses to create and manipulate images, photographs and other graphics objects. Thus the software contains the instructions that tell a computer what to do and how to do to solve a specific problem. Generally, system software consists of an operating system and some fundamental utilities such as disk formatters, file managers, display managers, text editors, user authentication (login) and management tools, and networking and device control software. It is like a traffic cop – it makes sure that different programs and users running at the same time do not interfere with each other.
For example, the DOS operating system contains commands such as COPY and RENAME for copying files and changing the names of files, respectively.
Programming languages such as C, C#, Java, Visual Basic are used to develop applications; AIML, Prolog, C, C++ are used for artificial intelligence development, Dbase, FoxPro, MyJSql, Sql etc. Because machine language is directly understood by computer you don’t need to convert it to run.
Assembly languages are similar to machine languages, but they are much easier to program in because they allow a programmer to substitute names for numbers. It uses mnemonic codes to refer to machine code instructions, rather than using the instructions’ numeric values directly. With assembly language, a programmer works only with operations implemented directly on the physical CPU. The language translator that can create machine codes out of assembly language is called Assembler.
It lets the programmer concentrate on the logic of the problem to be solved rather than the intricacies of the machine architecture such as is required with low-level assembly languages. Because a programmer now does not need to remember the machine architecture and operations implemented directly on the physical CPU, high level languages are machine independent. Programs written in high level language is called source program and after it is converted into machine language by the compiler, it is called an object program. Utility software is often targeted at technical people with an advanced level of computer knowledge.
Backup utilities can make a copy of all information stored on a disk, and restore either the entire disk (e.g. Software packages are aimed at solving some common problem such as word-processing, spreadsheet calculation, database management, presentation systems and so on. These are the software applications that are modified or customized to meet your specific need after acquiring some pre-built packaged software. It was used in the computer industry as early as 1966 to refer to computer users, often in humorous contexts by analogy with hardware and software. Typical examples of devices containing firmware are embedded systems, computers, computer peripherals, mobile phones, and digital cameras. Changing the firmware of a device may rarely or never be done during its economic lifetime; some firmware memory devices are permanently installed and cannot be changed after manufacture.
This may require physically changing ROM integrated circuits, or reprogramming flash memory with a special procedure. It is usually a small amount (normally less than 1MB) of high-speed memory residing on or close to the CPU. Computer hardware is like a dead body which has all the machinery and mechanism but can’t do anything. A group of programs that are put into a computer to operate and control its activities is called software. Device drivers has instructions to make operating system able to recognize and operate the device. It performs the specific task related to the management of computer functions, resources, or files as password protection, memory management, virus protection and file compression. Other utility programs are sold separately as software packages that the user must install. Any program that is not in machine language must be translated into machine language to execute. Interpreters do not create machine code file but rather run every instruction after it is converted one after another.

Some of the popular packaged software are Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access and so on.
Industrial automation software, business software, payroll software of a company, banking software designed especially for a bank, result processing system for SLC exam etc are examples of some customized software. PS Exam can be useful to Computer Science Students and ICT Trends for the candidates of Computer Operator Exam. Operating systems perform basic tasks, such as recognizing input from the keyboard, sending output to the display screen, keeping track of files and directories on the disk, and controlling peripheral devices such as disk drives and printers. The operating system is also responsible for security, ensuring that unauthorized users do not access the system.
Your choice of operating system, therefore, determines to a great extent the applications you can run. The commands are accepted and executed by a part of the operating system called the command processor or command line interpreter.
While easily understood by computers, machine languages are almost impossible for humans to use because they consist entirely of numbers.
Assembly language lacks high-level conveniences such as variables and functions, and it is not portable between various families of processors. There are two kinds of language processors to convert high level language into machine language – interpreter and compiler. If there is an error in the statement, the interpreter will stop working and displays an error message. Utility software are also referred to as service program, tool, service routine, or utility routine.
Provident Fund (Sanchaya Kosh) has developed its own software to record, calculate and perform many other operations. For example you can get MS Excel or Access and use its macro feature or write some other add-ins, or extensions, to solve your particular problem. Other words meaning the same or similar to liveware include wetware, meatware and jellyware. Firmware such as the ROM BIOS of a personal computer may contain only elementary basic functions of a device and may only provide services to higher-level software.
Cache memory supplies the processor with the most frequently requested data and instructions.
All else being equal, cache is so effective in system performance that a computer running a fast CPU with little cache can have lower benchmarks than a system running a somewhat slower CPU with more cache. And similarly, all the software developed to operate computer and help it to be able to run user required applications are system software. System software supports – running other software, communicating with peripheral devices, development of other types of software, monitoring the use of hardware resources. A program that translates user’s program into machine language are language translators or language processors.
Graphical user interfaces allow you to enter commands by pointing and clicking at objects that appear on the screen.
You need to know the details of a computer rather than problem for which you are writing programs.
Firmware such as the program of an embedded system may be the only program that will run on the system and provide all of its functions. The CPU uses cache memory to store instructions that are repeatedly required to run programs, improving overall system speed. Programmers, therefore, use either a high-level programming language or an assembly language. Data compression utilities output a shorter stream or a smaller file when provided with a stream or file.
The advantage of cache memory is that the CPU does not have to use the motherboard’s system bus for data transfer. Whenever data must be passed through the system bus, the data transfer speed slows to the motherboard’s capability.
Some CPUs have both L1 and L2 cache built-in and designate the separate cache chip as Level 3 (L3) cache.
Disk cleaners can find files that are unnecessary to computer operation, or take up considerable amounts of space.
Disk defragmenters can detect computer files whose contents are broken across several locations on the hard disk, and move the fragments to one location to increase efficiency.
Disk partitions can divide an individual drive into multiple logical drives, each with its own file system which can be mounted by the operating system and treated as an individual drive. Archive utilities output a stream or a single file when provided with a directory or a set of files. File managers provide a convenient method of performing routine data management tasks, such as deleting, renaming, cataloging, uncataloging, moving, copying, merging, generating and modifying data sets.
Network utilities analyze the computer’s network connectivity, configure network settings, check data transfer or log events.

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