Computer software introduction 2019

Computer software introduction 2019

Computer software is any set of machine readable instructions that directs a computer processor to perform specific operations.

Computer software contrasts with computer hardware, which is the physical component of computers. Computer software and hardware requires each other and neither can be realistically used without the other. Using a musical analogy, hardware is like a musical instrument and software is like the notes played on that instrument.

Computer software includes

Computer programs

Libraries and their associated documentation.

The word software is also sometimes used in a more narrow sense, meaning application software only. Software is stored in computer memory and is intangible I.e, it cannot be touched.

At the lowest level, executed code consists of machine language instructions specific to an individual processor typically a central processing unit. A machine language consists of groups of binary values signifying processor instructions that change the state of the computer from its preceding state. For example an instruction may change the value stored in a particular storage location inside the computer an effect that is not directly observable to the user. An instruction may also indirectly cause something to appear on a display of the computer system – a state change which should be visible to the user. The processor carries out the instructions in the order they are provided, unless it is instructed to jump to a different instruction or interrupted.

Software written in a machine language is known as machine code. However in practice, software is usually written in high level programming language that are easier and more efficient for human to use than machine language. High level language are translated, using compilation or interpretation or combination of the two into machine language. Software may also be written in a low level assembly language, essentially a vaguely mnemonic representation of a machine language using a natural language alphabet. Assembly language is translated into machine code using an assembler.

Computer software consists of all the electronic instructions that tell the hardware how to perform a task. These instructions come from a software developer in the form that will be accepted by the platform that they are based on. For example a program that is designed for the windows operating system will only work for that specific operating system.

Compatibility of software will vary as the design of the software and the operating system differ. Software that is designed for windows XP may experience a compatibility issue when running under windows 2000 or NT.

Software is capable of performing many tasks as opposed to hardware which only performs mechanical tasks that they are designed for. Computer software is the electronic instructions that tells the computer to perform a task. Practical computer systems divide software systems into two major classes. System software helps run computer hardware and computer system itself. System software includes

Operating systems

Device drivers

Diagnostic tool etc

System software is almost always pre-installed on your computer.

Application software allows users to accomplish one or more tasks which includes

word processing

Web browsing and almost any other task for which you might install software.


the first piece of software was arguably created by Ada Lovelace in the 19th century for the planned analytical engine. However it was never executed.

The first theory about software prior to the creation of computers as we know them today was proposed by Alan Turing in his 1935 essay computable numbers with an application of the Entscheidungs problem(decision problem)

This eventually led to the creation of the twin academic fields of computer science and software engineering which both study software and its creation. Computer science is more theoretical whereas software engineering is focused on more practical concerns.

However, prior to 1946, software as we now understand it, is a program stored in the memory of stored program digital computers which did not yet exist. The very first electronic computing devices were instead rewired in order to reprogram them.


On virtually all computer programs, software can be grouped into few broad categories

Purpose or domain of use

Based on the goal, computer software can be divided into

Application software and

System software

Application software are the most common programs that run in the foreground of the computer. They tend to perform useful tasks which are not associated with the computer maintenance, system boot up or hardware communication.

Application software is directly reliant on the system software to communicate to the physical components of the computer and cannot operate without it.


Application software varies from vendor to vendor and are commonly classified by purpose. Below is a common classification of application software.

Word processing software: allows users to create, edit a document example MS Word and Word Pad

Spreadsheet Software: allows users to create documents and perform calculations.

Database Graphic Software: allows users to create visual presentations

Multimedia Software: allows users to create images, audio and video.


system software is a computer software designed to operate and control the computer hardware and to provide a platform for running application software. System software can be separated in the following categories

Utility programs

Operating system

Language translator

Operating system are the foundation of your computer and almost every electronic device.

Categories of system software

System software can be separated into the following categories

Operating system

Utility programs

Language translator and

Library programs


This blog post has explained everything you need to know about computer software.

If you need any help or have any questions about computer software please feel free to use the comment box below.

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