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What is the meaning of software? Types of software.

A software is a set of programs that instructs the computer to perform a particular task. Unlike hardware components that can be touched physically, softwares can only be controlled using input devices and can not be touched.

There are two types of software;

  • System software
  • Application software


System software is a software that interacts and controls the computer hardware directly and also serves as a platform for application software to operate. This means that a computer must be running a system software like Windows or MacOS before an application software can be installed on it.

Examples of system software; operating systems(Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows xp,macOS etc), device drivers and utilities.


This is a software that is designed to use the system software as its platform to perform other functions.

Application software is mostly called application or app. There are apps developed to function on certain operating systems only. For example, there are apps that will work on windows but not on MacOS and some will also work on MacOS but not on windows, same applies to phones. Some also work on computers but not on phones and vice versa, but app developers have developed phone versions of almost all apps that use to function on computers only.

Examples of application software; browsers (google chrome,safari,Firefox,etc), word processors (Ms word, wordPerfect,AppleWorks, etc), media player (vlc, mx,etc), spreadsheet (Ms spreadsheet), photo editors (photoshop, photoshine etc), etc.


A computer will not function properly or may not function at all without system software but can perform to some extent without application software.

The installation of system software usually takes time, a bit longer than when installing an application software. But the time it takes a computer to install a system software or application software depends largely on its speed.

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