How Many Types of Software Are There?

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There are two main types of software: system software and application software. System software refers to a program that makes the computer’s hardware work, while application software is software that accomplishes a specific task or several related tasks. System software is basically the computer’s operating system, and is typically bundled with the hardware. Application software comprises a large collection of applications that are built for specific tasks.

System software usually has various components that accomplish a specific job. For instance, the basic input and output system manages the flow of instructions between the different hardware parts and the operating system. A boot program loads the main operating system into memory when the computer is starting. Device drivers are also components of system software that control particular hardware devices. System software is sometimes called low-level software because it runs at the most basic level of a computer.

Application software, on the other hand, allows computer users to accomplish various tasks. When an application program is opened, it runs inside the operating system until it is closed. There are countless types of application programs including Web applications, desktop applications and many more. Typical examples of application software include spreadsheets, word processors and media players, among others.