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Software is a general term for the various kinds of programs that enable computers and related devices to work.

Software consists of carefully-organized computer instructions and code written by programmers in any computer languages such as Java, PHP, C, C+ and Python.

Software means computer instructions or data. Anything that can be stored electronically is software.

Software Definition

Software, or computer software, is a part of the computer that contains sets of programs that instruct the computer to do specific tasks. At its most basic level, software majorly consists of binary values. The theory was initially proposed by Alan Turing in 1935 and includes computer program, libraries and other such non-executable data like digital media and online documentation. Over the last few decades, the advent of software industry has given rise to businesses and business models that are maintenance-based (on premise) and cloud-based ( SaaS, IaaS and so on).

Based on the purpose or domain of use, software can be classified into following categories:

  • Application software: This is software used to perform special function or provide entertainment alternatives that are beyond the basic ones that the computer offers.

  • System software: This is software that is responsible to directly operate computer hardware that offers the basic functionalities to users and in other cases provide a platform to run the application software. System software can be further subdivided into operating systems, device drivers and utilities. Operating system is the collection of software used to provide common services to other software to run on them as well as manage their resources. Device drivers are installed to help operate and control another device that is attached to the computer. Each additional device, apart from the minimum one input and one output device requires a corresponding device driver. Utility software offers additional components with limited capabilities that are required to maintain a computer.

  • Malicious software: Also known as malware, the software is an undesirable one designed to cause malice and harm the host system.

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