Types of Software in Computer Systems

Types of Software in Computer Systems

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Jaya Sharma
Assistant Manager - Content
Updated on Jan 31, 2023 14:17 IST

Software are important program through which computer system is run. Based on two broader classifications, software is of two types: system and application software.


In this article, we will be discussing the different types of software in computers.

Table of Contents

What is software?

Software is a set of programs or sequences of instructions that allow users to perform well-defined functions and tasks. It is a set of computer programs that are associated with data and documentation. An instruction also invokes one of the many input and output operations. 

Most types of software are written in high-level programming languages that are easier and more efficient for programmers. These languages are closer to natural languages than machine languages. It is made up of binary language but it is written in human-readable languages such as Python, C++, Java, etc.

High-level languages are translated into machine languages using an interpreter, compiler, or both. The software can also be written in those low-level assembly languages that have strong correspondence to machine language instructions. It is translated into machine language using an assembler.

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Types of Software in Computer

There are mainly two types of software, including system and application software. Let us learn about these software types in detail.

1. System Software

This type of software is a computer program that is used for running computer software and hardware. It manages the interaction between hardware and software as well. This software continuously runs in the background to maintain the hardware and basic functionalities of the computer network. In simple terms, it checks and manages the flow between users and computer hardware. 

Whenever the computer is switched on, the system software is initialized and gets loaded into the memory of the computer. This software runs in the background and is not used by end users. Due to this reason, it is known as low-level software. It is a type of software that controls the internal functioning of the computer that also controls hardware devices. The following are the different types of System software:

1.1 Operating System

This is the main program of a computer system that loads into the memory at first. Operating systems provide an interface to users to help them interact with the computer. It also offers several services to other computer software. Computer devices perform actions as per the instructions of users. It is a type of software that decodes the input query by a user and provides the required output. An operating system manages software applications, programs and computer hardware resources. 

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The operating system is a collection of software that handles resources and provides services for applications that run over them. Most operating systems provide GUI through which users can manage files and folders and perform other tasks. It determines the way a user interacts with the systems; due to this, most users prefer using a specific OS for their systems. Linux, Windows, and Apple macOS are some of the examples of operating systems in computers.

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1.2 Device Driver 

It is a specialized type of software that controls specific hardware of the computer. For devices to function properly, it is important to have a driver. User Device Drivers and Kernel Device Drivers are the two main types of device drivers. Graphic cards, hard disks, printers, sound cards and keyboards all use device drivers. 

Some drivers are manually installed by users for hardware devices, while in some operating systems, drivers are automatically installed. When you connect a new device to the computer system, you need to install the driver of the device so that the OS knows how to manage or control the device. 

1.3 Language Translators

These types of system software in computers convert machine language into human-readable language and vice versa. This processor converts programs written in high-level languages such as C++, Python, JavaScript into instructions that are easily readable by machines. 

The conversion is performed using processors or programming language translators. These translators help in converting computer programs written in instructions that can be interpreted by machines. It helps in performing tasks such as obtaining diagnostic reports, assigning data storage and obtaining source code. 

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Difference Between Machine Language and Assembly Language
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2. Application Software 

These types of software perform special functions besides basic computer operations. Application software is written in high-level language. These programs perform specific tasks for end users so that their requirements are fulfilled. Such software requires more space, but they are easy to design and use. They are more interactive for the user 

2.1 Database Software

It is a useful computer software that helps in creating and managing databases. This type of software is important for maintaining and organizing data on the computer. MS Access, MySQL, FileMaker are some examples of database software in computers. 

This software type offers multi-user access control, database communication and security management. Database software helps in maintaining the hygiene of data and controls the access and permissions that the user has.

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2.2 Multimedia Software

It is a software type that performs tasks related to media files, such as video and audio files. This type of software helps in creating and modifying media files. This software covers from web designing to video editing. Most multimedia software use computers for creating and manipulating sounds, animation, text and graphics. Windows Media Player, VLC Media Player, Picasa, Adobe Photoshop, Media Monkey, Picasa are some popular multimedia software. 

2.3 Graphic Software

These types of software are used for designing, editing and modifying graphic designs. These come with several built-in tools for illustration and editing. MS Paint, GIMP, Autodesk Maya, and CorelDRAW are some examples of graphic software. 

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2.4 Web Browsers

These are used for internet surfing that help in finding specific web addresses for retrieving data on the web. Some of the computer systems come with preinstalled native web browsers whereas in some cases, third-party web browsers can be installed from the app store on the devices. 


While there are two main types of software in computers, software is also classified in terms of shareability and availability. Freeware, Shareware, Middleware, Open and Closed sources are examples of different types of software.

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About the Author
Jaya Sharma
Assistant Manager - Content

Jaya is a writer with an experience of over 5 years in content creation and marketing. Her writing style is versatile since she likes to write as per the requirement of the domain. She has worked on Technology, Fina... Read Full Bio