Computer software, or software, is the term used to generally refer to the operating and roles those computer procedures, documentation, and programs have in a computer system. This includes application software like word processors, firmware, software programmed to digitally service memory on integrated hardware carriers. Software testing such as tests on functionality, appearance and performance, and Middleware, a program that regulates and controls coordinates distributed systems. All of these things and more are covered in the broad term of computer software.
However, that is not all-inclusive, as the term software includes many other subjects. Additional covered ideas of software include video games, programs, websites, and applications. The term “software” is also used to more broadly specify anything that is not hardware but that which is used with hardware.
Basically speaking, software is everything but hardware in a computer.
The term “hardware” is used to refer to the literal parts to the computer, the modem, the internal circuits, the chips; basically any aspect of the computer that is physically tangible, hence the name “hard-ware.” Software, in contrast, refers to everything inside of the computer, or non-tangible aspects of the computer that are used for its common functionality. A computer can be compared to a brain where the actual circuits and hard drives are the physical brain tissue, but what goes on within the brain is the software, or “thought processing.” This makes the definition of software very broad.
There are many different types of software; software that dictates the functioning of logistic programs, video programs, video game programs, online link programs, java, HTML, desktop applications, language programming, alternate scripting, and even microcode programs.
Because the term software is so broad, it is almost impossible to give it one single definition.
Though, basely translated, software is something associated with, yet contrasted to hardware as the entire roster of programs, procedures, and related documentation associated with the hardware it is employed by. Or, even more loosely, any material internally used for audiovisual programs.
Computers are not the only electronic apparatus that uses software. In the rising state of electronic use in society, software can pertain to any number of electrical appliances. Computers, video game systems, cars, remote controlled instruments, nautical vessels, and even more household items such as toasters or microwaves; in the newer models of these things, advanced software is being employed to make their usefulness top notch.
However, in all of these uses that software has today, it is still able to be broken down into three distinct categories that signify the broad range of uses of all software. These categories are: System Software, which helps run computer chip hardware to minimize the difficulty in the use of computer systems; Programming software, which provides the necessary tools needed for writing computer software; and application software, which allows computers or computer powered electronics to perform more specific features.
All of existing software on the market today can be broken down into one of these categories, though each category has a more specific set of designations, they are all inclusive of what software is and how it can be categorized.
Lecture Series on Software Engineering by Prof.NL Sarda, Prof. Umesh Bellur,Prof.RKJoshi and Prof.Shashi Kelkar, Department of Computer Science & Engineering ,IIT Bombay . For more details on NPTEL visit nptel.iitm.ac.in
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