The most notable system software is the operating system that controls the PC; other types of system software include device drivers, system utilities, compilers, file management tools, assemblers and debuggers. System software is typically installed onto the computer during the installation of the operating system. This means the system software in a computer is often based on the installed operating system.
Every device, both internal and external, that is connected to the CPU requires device drivers to function. The drivers enable the operating system to effectively identify and communicate with the device. The operating system usually includes the device drivers for basic hardware components like the keyboard and mouse; however, most manufacturers provide installation discs with the drivers required to use their device.
Most system software works in the background and is not controlled by the end user. Since system software runs at a basic level of the computer, it is sometimes referred to as "low-level" software. The other category of software is application software. System software is developed to control and operate the computer hardware thus proving the environment required to run application software. Application software enables computer users to perform various computing tasks, such as creating and editing documents, listening to music, playing games and watching videos.