The two main types of computer software are the system software and the application software. The system software provides the platform for users to install and run application software, and it's made up of multiple programs needed to run a computer system smoothly. Application programs are designed to perform specific tasks, such as word processing, video editing, spreadsheets and web browsers.
Any application program is dependent on a computer's system software to deliver specific functionality to a user. There are several minor application programs, called utilities programs, that are integrated into an operating system to manage the computer's hardware resources, such as the hard drive, memory modules, graphics and audio cards.
There are several major types of standalone operating systems. Some of these are Microsoft Windows, Apple's Mac OS and Linux.
Microsoft Windows has been in the market since the early 1980s and has evolved into numerous advanced versions over the years. Mac OS is designed specifically for use with Apple brand computers. Linux is an open-source, freely distributable operating system.
Of the three operating systems mentioned above, Linux is the only operating system that can be fully customized by developers to suit their specific needs because of its open source code, according to ExplainingComputers.com.