Meaning of Software

Software is a special term for data that is formatted and stored digitally, including computer programs, documentation, files, photos, videos and various information that can be read, written and understood by computers. In other words, part of a computer system that is intangible. This term emphasizes the difference from computer hardware.


Software is a collection of instructions, data, or programs that are used to operate computers and carry out certain tasks. In contrast to hardware, which describes the physical aspects of a computer, software is a general term used to refer to applications, scripts, and programs running on a device. Software can be considered as a variable part of the computer and hardware part that does not change.

Software is often divided into application software, or programs that users download that meet their wants or needs, and system software, which includes any operating system and programs that support application software. The term middleware is sometimes used to describe programming that mediates between application and system software or between two types of application software.

For example, middleware can be used to send remote work requests from applications on computers that have one type of operating system to applications on computers with different operating systems. The additional software category is utility, which is a small and useful program with limited capabilities. Some utilities are equipped with an operating system.

Making software itself requires a "programming language" written by a programmer and then compiled with a compiler application so that it becomes code that can be recognized by the hardware engine in the computer. Software such as Windows or Linux can be called the life of the computer itself, where without the operating system installed, the computer cannot be run.

Operating system software is usually stored in the C partition so that when the computer has a problem, the C partition must be affected because the data is inside. Other software is also stored in partition C, which if the component is no longer running can be uninstalled optimally. Other data is better stored in partition D so that when the software is infected with a virus or does not run normally again and important D data can be saved.

There are several examples of types of software, namely:
  • Application software such as word processors, arithmetic tables, media players, and office application packages such as OpenOffice.org.
  • Operating systems (operating systems) such as Linux and Windows.
  • Software development tools such as Compilers for high-level programming languages ​​such as Pascal and low-level programming languages ​​namely assembled languages.
  • The hardware controller (device driver) is the link between the supporting hardware devices, and the computer is a software that is widely used in supermarkets, and also schools, namely the use of barcode scanners in other database applications.
  • Fixed software / Firmware (firmware) such as those installed in digital watches, and remote controls.
  • Free software (free 'libre' software) and open source software (open source software)
  • Free software (freeware)
  • Trial software (shareware / trialware)
  • Malware (malware)

Like applications, utilities tend to be installed separately and can be used separately from other operating systems. Similarly, applets are small applications that sometimes come with the operating system as an accessory. They can also be made independently using Java or other programming languages.

Software can be purchased or obtained in the following ways:

  1. Shareware - usually distributed for free or trial for the purpose of selling when the period ends.
  2. Liteware - a type of shareware with some capabilities that are disabled until the full version is purchased.
  3. Freeware - can be downloaded for free but with copyright restrictions.
  4. Public domain software - can be downloaded for free without limitations.
  5. Open source - the type of software where the source code is completed and the user agrees not to limit the distribution of enhancements.


Today, a lot of purchased software, shareware, and freeware is directly downloaded via the Internet. In this case, the software can be found on the website of a particular vendor or application service provider. However, software can also be packaged on a CD-ROM or diskette and sold physically to consumers

Some common types of application software include:

  • Productivity software, which includes tools such as word processors and spreadsheets.
  • Presentation software, also known as slideware.
  • Graphics software.
  • CAD / CAM.
  • Vertical markets or industry-specific software, for example, banking, insurance, and retail applications.
A special type of software that allows hardware to run is firmware. This is a type of programming that is embedded in a special area of ​​nonvolatile memory hardware, such as microprocessors or read-only memory, on a one-time or infrequent basis so that later it seems to be part of the hardware. Thus a glimpse of information about computer software, may be useful.

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