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Software, or computer software, is used within a computer system and contains a set of instructions telling the computer what to do or how to perform a task. Most computers would be useless without software as it enables simple functionality such as using your internet browser to search the internet or using Word to write a letter.

How does it work?

Application software consists of programs that do the work that the user has an interest in. System software includes operating systems and other programs that support application software like Microsoft Windows.

The software may come as standard on a computer, mobile or tablet when purchased so that you can start using it straight away rather than having to buy or download the information. Software can be purchased or acquired in many ways;

• Shareware – Software that is intended to be sold after an initial trial period

• Liteware – The same as shareware but with some capabilities disabled

• Freeware – Free software but quite often has copyright restrictions

• Public domain software – Free software with no restrictions

• Open source – Software where the source code is also given away for free allowing other users to make improvements

Most software is downloaded over the internet but is also often sold packaged with a CD-ROM.

Types of Software:

• Productivity software for creating spreadsheets

• Presentation software

• Graphics software

• Industry-specific software


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