You have just bought a new computer system, and you are all psyched about using it. You turn the computer on-but it doesn't know what to do! Well, that's because the devices that make up a computer system are no good without software. Software is the term that describes the instructions given to the computer so that it will know what tasks and operations to carry out! There is no real tangible form for software, like there is for a computer's hardware. After all, if you think about it, how can you touch instructions?
Anyway, software can be separated into a few different groups:
System software controls the computer's functions, as well as important peripherals like printers, monitors, and certain storage devices.
The most important type of system software is the operating system. The operating system acts as an overseer over the whole computer system. Some of its major tasks are to control and organize the various devices that make up the hardware of a computer system and to support application software. Application software is the second major type of software, and will be talked about later on in this section.
The second type of system software comprises of the many different programming languages found throughout the computer world. Programming languages are specialized languages that computers can understand.
Application software is the software that controls the tasks you can use your computer to carry out. It includes any kind of program that can be used to carry out the instructions that you give the computer.
Some examples of application software that will be talked about are:
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