Computer Software

Objectives :

After the completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • – define the software.
  • – know the different types of software.
  •  – differentiate between system and application software.
  • – know about Utility software, device drivers and GUI environment.

Software is a collection of instructions that helps the computer to work. The combination of hardware and software makes the computer system. The physical part of a computer is like the body and the life part is the software. Computer software includes computer programs and data. Computer hardware and software require each other and neither can be realistically used on its own. Computer screen, CPU, mouse etc. are the hardware and Ms-word, excel, windows) etc. are the software.

Types of Computer Software

There are three types of software. They are: System software, Application software and Utility software

System Software

The software which runs the computer’s hardware and application programs are called system software. There are two types of system software. They are Operating System and Language processor.

 Operating System:

Operating System is a program that controls overall operations of the computer. Operating system plays a mediator between the user and the computer. If the computer starts from the power of state, then it is called cold booting. At

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Multi user operating system:

 The operating system which allows two or more than two person to work at a time is called a multi user operating system. The unix operating system in mainframe computer is multiuser operating system where hundreds of the users can work at a time. The operating system extends the basic concept of multi-tasking with facilities that identify processes and resources, such as disk space, belonging to multiple users, and the system permits multiple users to interact with the system at the same time. Some examples of a multi-user OS are Unix, Virtual Memory System (VMS) and mainframe OS. Under the operating system, there are two types of operating system environment, a. CUI and b. GUI. CUI or command line operating system text base. You have to get by-heart all of the commands to operate the system so (Disk Operating system) is the example of CUI environment operating system.

Device driver

The system which controls and drives a specified device in the computer is called a device driver. It is a file which comes with the device when you purchase it. Devica drivers are operating system-specific and hardware-dependent. A device driver acte as a translator between the hardware device and the programs or operating systems that use it. A device driver may also be called a software driver. For example mouse driver, printer driver etc.

GUI Environment

“A graphical user interface (GUI) is a human-computer interface that uses windows, icons and menus which can be manipulated by a mouse.” The command based operating system is difficult to operate because one must get by-heart the commands but in a GUI environment you just recognize the command icon(image) and click to operate. A w To open Ms-word, just double click at the Ms-word icon, it opens.

 GUIs were introduced in reaction to the perceived steep learning curve of command line interfaces (CLIS), which require commands to be typed on a computer keyboard. The actions in a GUI are usually performed through direct manipulation of the graphical elements. Beyond computers, GUIs are used in many handheld mobile devices such as MP3 players, portable media devices, smartphones and smaller household, office and industrial controls. players, gaming Example: Microsoft Windows, Apple System 7 and macos, Chrome OS, Linua variants like Ubuntu etc.


Desktop environment is a graphical user interface between the computer and its user. This environment is much easier than the CUI. In this environment, we have icons, pull-down menus, buttons, scroll bars folders, wallpapers and desktop widgets (Elements of graphical user interfaces and WIMP). A desktop environment aims to be an intuitive way for the user to interact with the computer using concepts which are similar to those used when interacting with the physical world, such as buttons and windows.

Concept of Icon, windows dialog box, GUI control

ICON: An icon is a graphical (small image) representation displayed or a computer screen in order to help the user navigate a computer system.

1) In a computer’s graphical user interface (GUI), an icon is an image the

the other concept or specific represents an application, a capability, or some other co entity with meaning for the user.

2) An icon is often a graphical image that represents the topic or informatie category of another Web page. Frequently, the icon is a hypertext link. that page. Typically, icons are gathered in one or two places on a pag

either as separate graphic files or as a single image map.

The figure at the right side is an icon of a program called viber. When you click in this icon viber program starts.

Windows dialog box

A dialog box is a temporary window and an application typically uses dialog boxes to prompt the information for menu items. A dialog box usually contam (child windows) with which the user enters text, chooses options, or directs the action.

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In the figure above, the save as dialog box is shown. Windows also provide predefined dialog boxes that support common menu items such as one. Applications that use these menu items should use the common prompt for this user input, regardless of the type of application.

GUI control

CUI controls make programs easier to understand and use. They provide a clear and easy user interface, and can also be used to organize large amounts of data in a way that is easy to understand. In CUI we have to type the command but in the GUT environment we deal with the dialog boxes, buttons, menus etc.

 Mouse pointer and its activities

Activity of the mouse A mouse is used to execute computer commands using mouse gestures. Common mouse gestures include point, click, right-click, double-click, drag, rightdrag, rotate wheel and press wheel.

File and folder management

A file manager or file browser is a computer program that provides a user interface to manage files and folders. The most common operations performed on files or groups of files include creating, opening (e.g. viewing, playing, editing or printing), renaming, moving or copying, deleting and searching for files, as well as modifying file attributes, properties and file permissions. Folders and files may be displayed in a hierarchical tree based on their directory structure. Some file managers contain features inspired by web browsers, including forward and back navigational buttons.

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Types of language processors

1) Assembler

2) Compiler

3) Interpreter


As we have already known that machine level language is tough for humans. Then a mnemonic or assembly codes were developed. These assembly codes were easy for

The examples of application software are: Ms-word, MS-Excel, Accounting package etc.

Types of Application software

a) Packaged software

b) Tailored/customized software

Packaged/customized Software

Packaged softwares are the readymade softwares which are prepared to fulfil certain tasks. Ms-word is a packaged software which is prepared to create the document like an essay, story, thesis etc. After buying Ms-word, you cannot get a story or an essay, you have to type there. The environment is suitable to write a story there. In the same way Ms-Excel is another package program, which is suitable to solve the accounting and other mathematical calculations. In general, these programs are cheaper due to general view and mass production. These programs are packed so you cannot edit these programs. No source code of the program you will get here. Examples of packaged software are Ms-Word, Ms-Excel, Power-Point, commercial games etc. Tailored/customized software

Tailored software is an application software which is prepared to fulfil a certain task of a certain organization or individual. Suppose a school wants to have a billing system then the school should call a programmer to create the system. It takes time to create, each and every thing about the system of the school, about the billing will be included in the program. When the program is installed, the accountant has to type the student’s id number only, all information will appear on the screen and the bill gets printed.

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i) Disk defragmenters  detect computer files whose contents are scattered across several locations on the

locations on the hard disk and collect the fragments into one contiguous area. It collects all the scattered a file in different places to

a single place.

 k. Data compression utilities output a shorter stream or a smaller file when

provided with a stream or file.

 m. Disk cleaners find files that are unnecessary to computer operation, or take

up considerable amounts of space. Disk cleaner helps the user to decide what to delete when their hard disk is full.

Points to remember

1. Software is a collection of instructions that guides the computer to work. 2. There are three types of software. They are: System software, Application software and Utility software

3. Operating Systems are essential collections of software that manage

resources and provides common services for other software that runs “on

top” of them.

4. Device drivers are operating system-specific and hardware-dependent.

5. Single user operating system is designed for a single user to work at a time.

6. A multi-user operating system is designed for more than one user at a time.

7. A graphical user interface (GUI) is a human-computer interface that uses windows, icons and menus and which can be manipulated by a mouse.

8. A desktop environment (DE) is an implementation of the desktop

metaphor made of a bundle of programs running on top of a computer operating system, which shares a common graphical user

interface (GUI), sometimes described as a graphical shell.

9. ICON is a graphical representation displayed on a computer screen in

order to help the user navigate a computer system.

10. A dialog box is a temporary window an application creates to retrieve user input.

11. GUI controls can be used to make programs easier to understand and use.

12. A file manager or file browser is a computer program that provides a user interface to manage files and folders.

13. A language processor is a software program designed or used to perform tasks such as processing program code to machine code.

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