What Is Software?


The term software was first coined in 1958 by John Turkey and is used to describe the collection of programs, procedures and documentation that are used for computers and other such devices to operate. It is essentially the heart of a computer and programs are the language a computer uses in order to speak.

So what are programs? These are essentially instructions written to carry out specific tasks, using the computer. It is these programs that allow the computer to function.

Software can be divided according to the functions it has to perform:

  • Application software – programs that individuals are interested in using for particular purposes
  • System software – these include operating systems and any program that supports application software.
  • Programming software – these are the tools that a programmer uses to write computer programs that act as a set of instructions which makes a computer perform specific tasks.
  • Malware - this type of software is a risk to the computer as it spreads different types of viruses.
  • Inventory Management Software – this software supports companies to manage items/materials
  • Utility Software - helps hardware and software applications
  • Data Backup and Recovery Software - saves backup files.

Examples of software:

  • Content Access Software – This is used for accessing content without making any changes.
  • Enterprise software – Used in business and government organisations.
  • Simulate software – A user monitors the operation through simulation.