• Software is the programs, routines, and symbolic languages that control the functioning of the hardware and direct its operation.

Types of Software

  • Retail Software
  • type of software is sold off the shelves of retail stores.
  • includes expensive marketing and packaging designed to catch the eye of shoppers
  • generally more expensive


  • Original Equipment Manufacturer
  • designed to be bundled with hardware
  • Shareware
  • downloadable software
  • the user is typically allowed to try the program for free, for a period of time stipulated in the license
  • At the end of the trial period, the software must be purchased or uninstalled


  • downloadable off the Internet and free of charge. Often freeware is only free for personal use, while commercial use requires a paid license. Freeware does not contain spyware or adware. If it is found to contain either of these, it is reclassified as such.

Custom Software

  • Software developed exclusively for a client.
  • Created to meet the specific needs of the client
  • For example: systems software used by a company to maintain their customer database
  • Software Categories
  • Systems Software – enables the computer to function
  • Application Software – does real work for users
    • Systems Software

Systems Software

  • Management software including Operating Systems
  • Development Software including programming languages such as JAVA, C++, Turing. This is software used to create programs.
  • Service Software including device drivers and security software
  • Operating System
  • Definition
    • basic software that allows the user to interface with the computer
    • Some popular OS include Windows, Linux, Apple Mac OS.
    • GUI – Graphical User Interface
    • Desktop
    • Work environment
    • Taskbar
    • Quick launch bar
    • Notification area
    • Start Menu
    • DOS (command line interface)
    • Windows 3.1
    • Windows 7

Tasks of the OS

  • Breaks the tasks down into manageable chunks and prioritizing them before sending to the CPU
  • Coordinates the flow of data in and out of RAM and determining when virtual memory is necessary
  • Provides an interface between each device connected to the computer, the CPU and applications
  • Directs where data will be stored permanently on hard drives and other forms of storage
  • Provides a standard communications and data exchange between software programs and the computer
  • Provides a way for you to communicate and interact with the computer


  • Short for Malicious Software
  • Intrusive software designed to infiltrate a user’s computer without the user’s consent
  • Includes:
  • Viruses
  • Trojan horses
  • Worms
  • Spyware
  • Adware


  • Examines and filters information coming into your computer
  • Usually between computers (or a network of computers)
  • Can be either hardware and/or software
  • Security software – Antivirus
  • Program that searches your hard drive and floppy disks for any known or potential viruses.

Application Software

  • Major categories of Application Software
  • Word Processing
  • Create and edit text files
  • Database
  • Create and edit databases (transaction and master records)þ
  • Spreadsheet
  • Create and edit rows and columns of numbers form budgets and financial statements
  • Presentation
  • Create and edit slideshows
  • Communications
  • Send and receive data/e-mail over network
  • The preceding can be bundled together in one suite.
  • Productivity Software
  • Any software that can be used as a tool and helps you produce documents, spreadsheets, a database, or other products.
  • Other types of Application Software
  • Education and Entertainments
  • Tools
  • Games
author avatar
William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

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