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10 Types of Software

  • Yashoda Gandhi
  • Dec 16, 2021
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Technology is pervasive in our daily lives, but have you ever thought about how it works? What makes computers and mobile phones operate is the software that runs on them. Computer code interacts with hardware to make it work. Modern coding is centred on the Internet.


Software, in its widest sense, is a set of instructions or programmes that inform a computer how to do specific tasks. Computer programmes that run on personal computers, mobile phones, tablets, and other smart devices are referred to as software. Scripts, applications, programmes, and a set of instructions are all terms used to describe software.



What is software?


As defined by the Tech Target, Software is a set of instructions, data, or programmes that are used to operate computers and execute certain tasks. It's the polar opposite of hardware, which refers to the physical components of a computer. 


Software encompasses all applications, scripts, and programmes that run on a device. It is comparable to the moveable component of a computer, but the hardware is immovable.


Most computers would be worthless if they didn't have software. Consider the web browser, which is a piece of software that allows us to connect to the internet. Reading this page on Webopedia would be impossible without the use of web browser software. 


On a computer or mobile device, an operating system (OS) is a software program that acts as a bridge between other programs and the hardware. TCP/IP is a protocol that allows computers to interact across long distance networks and is included in all major operating systems. It would be difficult to utilize a web browser without an operating system or protocols built into it.


Because high-level programming languages are closer to natural human language than machine code, the bulk of software is created in them. The high-level language is converted into low-level machine code that the computer can understand via a compiler or interpreter. A low-level assembly language may also be used to write software, although it is less prevalent.



How are software made?


A computer programme, also known as software, is made up of 1s and 0s, also known as binary, which is the only thing that the computer understands. It will be a challenge to translate your concept into binary on your own because it is sluggish, boring, and time consuming. This is where source code is useful.


Any programme written in a human-readable language is known as source code, and it is transformed into an executable file via the compilation process.


A developer may write this simple programme in a fair length of time, while professional software may require hundreds of developers. Hundreds, if not thousands, of files would make up a large piece of software. Revision control is one notion that enables them to do so.


Software engineers put a lot of effort into their work, but there are always a few flaws in the code, which we refer to as bugs. Even after a piece of software has been published to the general public, the developers must continue to patch issues and enhance it. That is why software upgrades or new versions are released on a regular basis.


There are two types of software that may be developed: proprietary and open source. 


  • Proprietary:The software that is owned by a person or a corporation and sold for profit. Only the program is made available to the public, not the source code.

  • Open source: Anyone with access to the source code can use the program for free. Donations are how open-source software owners make money.(source)


(Suggested blog: Neural Network Programs/Software)


Types of software


  1. Programming Software


Programming software aids the programmer in the development of additional software. Compilers, assemblers, debuggers, interpreters, and other programming software are examples. 


All of these programs are combined in integrated development environments (IDEs). Programming software is sometimes referred to as a software development tool and a programming tool.


The right tool can help you increase your productivity and keep track of the project's development. 


Software development tools include compilers, linkers, assemblers, debuggers, GUI designers, and performance analysis tools, to name a few.  


Some other project management software that is making our lives easier.


  1. Utility Software

Utility software is a sort of system software that helps a computer system run correctly and efficiently. It assists the Operating System in managing, organising, maintaining, and improving the computer system's functionality.


Virus detection, installation, and uninstallation, data backup, and file deletion are just some of the functions that utility software may do.


Some utility softwares include antivirus, file management systems, compression tools, disc management tools, and disc cleanup tools.


  1. System Software


Systems software is a form of software that controls a computer system's resources while also facilitating software application development


Operating systems, database management systems, networking software, translators, and software utilities are examples of this category of software. 


If we consider a computer system to be a layered model, system software serves as the interface between the hardware and the user applications. All other apps on a computer are controlled by the operating system (OS).


 System software includes Android, CentOS, IOS, Linux, Unix, Mac OS, and Microsoft Windows.


  1. Driver Software


A software driver is a piece of software that manages the operation of a hardware device. Different physical components(hardware) of the computer and related devices must communicate with one another for a computer to function and work on any computer, smartphone, or tablet.


Internal components like the CPU, RAM, and hard drive, as well as peripherals like the printer, speakers, keyboard, and mouse, all need to communicate with one another in order for your computer to function. 


Each component or peripheral has a software driver that allows it to connect with other components and peripherals in the correct sequence. Software drivers include computer printers, graphics devices, modems, and network cards.


  1. Firmware


A firmware programme or set of instructions is a software programme or set of instructions that is installed on a physical device. It includes instructions about how the device will interface with the rest of the computer's hardware. But how can you write software into hardware? That is an excellent question. 


Firmware is often stored in a physical device's flash ROM. While ROM stands for "read-only memory," flash ROM is a type of flash memory that can be erased and overwritten.


Devices that incorporate firmware include embedded systems (such as traffic lights, consumer appliances, and digital watches), computers, computer peripherals, mobile phones, and digital cameras.


  1. Shareware


Shareware is commercial software that is distributed for free with the purpose of eventually requiring or encouraging customers to pay for the product's ongoing maintenance.


Shareware can come in a variety of forms, some of which charge for additional features or only deliver the whole product for a limited period. Some software may even be completely functioning and supported entirely by contributions. Shareware software includes Adware, Demoware, Donationware, Nagware, and Freemium.


  1. Application Software


"Application software" refers to software that performs specific tasks for a user.


When a user interacts directly with a piece of software, application software is utilised. Application software includes Microsoft Word and Excel, as well as popular web browsers such as Firefox and Google Chrome.


In contrast, system software refers to software that keeps systems running, such as the operating system, computational research software, gaming engines, industrial automation, and software-as-a-service applications.


It also includes the category of mobile applications, which includes communication apps such as WhatsApp and games such as Candy Crush Saga.


  1. Freeware


Freeware is a type of tiny application that may be downloaded and used on most operating systems for no cost. You may or may not be able to reuse it in your code since it may be copyrighted. Uncopyrighted programmes in the public domain are the least restricted "no-cost" programmes. 


When utilising public domain software in your own programmes, it's important to understand the program's history to ensure that it's truly in the public domain. Freeware software includes Adobe Reader, Audacity, ImgBurn, Recuva, Skype, and Yahoo Messenger.


  1. Open Source Software


Open source software is software that has the source code available for anyone to examine, edit, and improve.


Most computer users never view "source code," which is the code that computer programmers may edit to change how a piece of software—a "programme" or "application"—works. 


Programmers who have access to the source code of a computer software can enhance it by adding new features or repairing areas that don't always operate correctly.


Open source softwares includes SugarCRM, GIMP, VNC, GNU, Mozilla Firefox, VLC media player, GNU, Mozilla Firefox, VLC media player.


  1. Closed Software


Closed Source software is software that is normally not free but has a secure and encrypted source code. Unlike Open Source, Closed Source code cannot be freely copied, edited, or removed.


The ramifications might range from the voiding of a guarantee to legal ramifications. Open Source software takes a "mass cooperation" approach, whereas Closed Source software creators are normally in charge of development and repairs, therefore it is up to them whether or not to continue development. 


Because of the licence that comes with the items, closed source software cannot be extensively disseminated. Windows, Microsoft Office, Skype, and Internet Explorer are examples of closed-source software.


(Must read: Challenges In Software Development)


To sum up, across many operating systems, software assists businesses and individuals in completing tasks and achieving goals. It's fantastic for the end user to be able to deal with different files and processes across multiple software packages and operating systems.

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