Computer software, or justÂ software, is a collection ofÂ computer programs and relatedÂ dataÂ that provides the instructions for telling aÂ computerÂ what to do and how to do it. Software refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of the computer. In other words, software is a set of programs, procedures, algorithmsÂ and itsÂ documentationÂ concerned with the operation of a data processing system. Program software performs the functionÂ of theÂ programÂ it implements, either by directly providingÂ instructions to theÂ digital electronicsÂ or by serving as input to another piece of software. TheÂ termÂ was coined to contrast to the old termÂ hardwareÂ (meaning physical devices). In contrast to hardware, software "cannot be touched".Â Software is also sometimes used in a more narrow sense, meaningÂ application software only. Sometimes the term includes data that has not traditionally been associated with computers, such as film, tapes, and records.
Computer software is so called to distinguish it fromÂ computer hardware, which encompasses the physical interconnections and devices required to store and execute (or run) the software. At the lowest level, executable code consists of machine language instructions specific to an individual processor. A machine language consists of groups of binary values signifying processor instructions that change the state of the computer from its preceding state. Programs are an ordered sequence of instructions for changing the state of the computer in a particular sequence. It is usually written inÂ high-level programming languagesÂ that are easier and more efficient for humans to use (closer toÂ natural language) than machine language. High-level languages are compiled or interpreted into machine language object code. Software may also be written in anÂ assembly language, essentially, aÂ mnemonicÂ representation of a machine language using a natural language alphabet. Assembly language must be assembled into object code via anÂ assembler.'
Text from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software
OPERATING SYSTEM The structure on the left shows where the operating system, software and application are situated while running on a typical desktop computer.
History of Software
It all started with Alan Turing who proposed a theory about software in 1935 in his essay called Computable numbers with an application to the decision problem. The term software was however not used in the written literature until 23 years later when John W Tukey used it in print. The term is commonly used to describe application software but in computer engineering this word encompasses all the information that is processed by the computer system, programs in general and data.
It is believed that the history of software as we know it began in 1946 when the first software bug was developed. Software has become in time cheaper and faster as did hardware. At first some elements of the computer were considered to be software but then they have joined the ranks of hardware. Software has constantly increased in popularity as the importance of computers has increased. Moreover, individuals started to want more from computers and this caused a need to further progress and development of the software that was being produced. For a long time however, software was bundled with the hardware by original equipment manufacturers. This meant that a new computer would have not come with pre-installed software but that the software had to be installed by the specialists working for the original equipment manufacturers. Nowadays things are much simpler since people can perform software download from the internet whenever they need a new program.
Importance of software
Our body is hardware, our soul is software. We would be dead is we do not have our souls. Same goes to computer. Without software, the computer is literally lifeless. Every electronic device that we are using in our daily life has software. Windows, MAC, Linus and UIX are all software. Without any software, there would not be any way to use hardware. Software runs the computer or any other electronic devices. Software helps us to do what we want to the computer. Software enhances our way of using computers. Without software, the computer will never be useful and easy to use it is like a dead body.
Types of software
Software is categorized as:
Application software is designed for the user to accomplish their daily tasks such as drawing, designs, creating documents, etc.
System software is designed to help the computer carry out the basic operating functions. System software consists of all the programs that enable the computer and its peripheral devices to function smoothly. It can be divided into two main categories which is the operating system and the system utilities (utility programs)
Tools in the form or programs or applications that software creators use to create, develop, debug, maintain or otherwise support other programs and applications are included in programming software. The term usually refers to relatively simple programs such asÂ compilers, debuggers,Â interpreters,Â linkers, andÂ text editors, that can be combined together to accomplish a task, much as one might use multiple hand tools to fix a physical object. Programming tools are intended to assist a programmer in writingÂ computer programs, and they may be combined in anÂ integrated development environmentÂ (IDE) to more easily manage all of these functions.
Influence of software
The influence of computer software on society is totally huge. Software has helped us a lot in accomplishing a large number of our daily tasks.
Software such as Finance Software has render households with a better way of managing their funds and personal budget. Any personal finance software lets an individual track all of his or her everyday expenses and monitor the costs of necessary expense as well. Also, there are other software products that allow aspiring professionals to enhance their skills in a particular field of interest and, therefore, land a job in their desired career. Hopeful moviemakers, for example, use video editing software in order to sharpen their skills in their preferred field. In corporate settings, productivity suites including word processors are widely used by companies for improving the work of their employees. These are some of the essential improvements that software has made in the continued development of society.