A computer has two types of software: system software and application software. System software gives the computer's hardware the instructions it needs to operate, and it provides the foundation for the applications' operation. Application software gives the computer practical functionality.
System software consists of the operating system, which has a graphic user interface that allows the user to interact with it, and utilities. The operating system and utilities work together to move data between the computer's processor, memory, storage and peripherals. They serve as a back end for a computer's operation.
Application software is readily apparent and visible to the user. It includes the Web browsers, business productivity programs, games and other applications that make the computer useful.