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What is a Software?

Basic – Web/Development

Reading Time – 1 minute, 19 seconds

What is a software? It’s a set of instructions written using a computer programming language and is installed in computing devices such as computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets to perform a specific task by collaborating with computer hardware. Based on the functionality, the software can be categorized into System, Application, and Malware.

Computers perform various actions such as display media on the monitor, print a document, and play music on speakers. All these actions are performed by executing instructions written on software. When these instructions are executed they get converted into binary format i.e. 1s and 0s which are understood by computers’ Central Processing Unit (CPU) as electric signals. The CPU then processes these signals which are in binary format to convert the input data into output information.

What are the categories of Software?

Software devices can be categorized into 3 main categories based on their functionality.

  1. System software includes the following categories.

    Operating Systems (OS) – this kind manages resources and provides common services to other software that runs on top of it.

    Device Drivers – this one controls a specific hardware device that is attached to a computer system and enables it to communicate with the OS.

    Utilities – this one assists the users to manage, maintain, configure, and optimize their computers.

  2. Application, on the other hand, is something we all are familiar with. They are the software applications we use daily for various tasks such as browsing the internet, calculations, entertainment, keeping notes, storing media and many more.
  3. Malware is also known as malicious software, and is intentionally designed to harm and disrupt the computer system.

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