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What is the term for a series of instructions that tell a computer what to do?

A:

Quick Answer

"Software" is the term for a series of detailed instructions that tell a computer what tasks to perform and how to perform them. That includes all the routines and procedures the computer must follow to get the job done.

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Full Answer

There are synonymous terms for "software." A "computer program," or just "program," is often used. Equally acceptable is the term "application" to describe the same set of problem-solving commands. Some examples of applications are word-processing software like Microsoft Word and spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel.

Sometimes instructions are embedded in executable files, which have a .exe extension. Once people run them, these files launch a series of steps that tell a computer how to perform a given operation.

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