Fundamentals of Computing (FOC)–Software Lectures


Computer software is a generic term for organized collection of computer data and instructions. It is responsible for controlling, integrating, and managing the hardware components of a computer and to accomplish specific tasks.




• Software can be categorized as

1. System software and

2. Application software.

System Software

• System software contribute to the control and performance of the computer system and permit the user to use the system more conveniently.

• Some examples of system software are

– operating systems

– device drivers

• Operating System:

– Operating system is responsible for performing basic tasks such as recognizing input from the keyboard, sending output to the display screen, keeping track of files and directories on the hard disk, and controlling peripheral devices such as printers and modems.

• Device Drivers:

– Device drivers are responsible for proper functioning of devices.

– Every device or hardware, whether it is a printer, monitor, mouse or keyboard,

• Language Translators:

– Language translators are tools, which translate a program written in a programming language to machine language.

– Along with every programming language developed, a language translator is also developed, which accepts the programs written in a programming language and execute them by transforming them into a form suitable for execution.

• System Utility:

– System utility programs perform day-to-day tasks related to the maintenance of the computer system.

– They are used to support, enhance, expand, and secure existing programs and data in the computer system.

Application Software

– Application software is used to accomplish specific tasks rather than just managing a computer system.

– Application software may also include a larger collection of programs (a software suite), related but independent programs and packages, which have a common user interface or shared data format, such as Microsoft Office suite.

– Some examples of application software are word processors, spreadsheets, image editors, database management systems, presentation applications, and desktop publishing software.

• Word Processors:

– A word processor is a software used to compose, format, edit, and print electronic documents.

– Word processing is one of the earliest applications for office productivity and the personal computer.

– It involves checking the spelling and grammar of the text, use different typefaces, include pictures, graphs, charts and many other things within the text of the document.

• Spreadsheets:

– A spreadsheet application is a rectangular grid, which allows text, numbers, and complex functions to be entered into a matrix of thousands of individual cells.

– The spreadsheet provides sheets containing cells each of which may contain text and/or numbers.

– Cells may also contain equations that calculate results from data placed in other cells or series of cells.

• Image Editors:

– Image editor programs are designed specifically for capturing, creating, editing, and manipulating images.

• Database Management Systems:

– Database management software is a collection of computer programs that allow storage, modification, and extraction of information from a database in an efficient manner.

– It supports the structuring of the database in a standard format and provides tools for data input, verification, storage, retrieval, query, and manipulation.

• Presentation Applications:

– A presentation is a means of assessment, which allow users to create a variety of visually appealing and verbal elements.

• Desktop Publishing Software:

– Desktop publishing is a technique of using a personal computer to design images and pages, and assemble

Software Categories


System Software, Application Software and Hardware


Relationship between Application and System Software


– Once a software (system or application) is carefully selected and purchased, needs to be installed on the computer so that it can be executed.

– The process of copying software from CD-ROM (or floppy disks) to the hard disk and configuring it to work with the computer hardware is known as the software installation.

– Sometimes a software is installed just for test purpose, or perhaps it has been superseded by better software. Hence, unwanted software


Software Install


– Software piracy is the unauthorised copying of an organisation’s internally developed software or the illegal duplication of commercially available software.

– A software license is a type of proprietary licence, which acts as a memorandum of contract between the producer and the end user.

Types of Software Piracy

– The six basic forms of software piracy are:

• Softloading

• Software Counterfeiting

• Internet Downloading

• Renting

• Hard Disk loading

• License misuse


– Some common terms used in the field of software are:

• Public-domain software

• Freeware

• Shareware

• Commercial Software

• Open Source Software

• Proprietary Software

• Firmware