Computer System Software

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What is Software

Software can be defined as the collection of computer programs, documentation and procedures that execute varying tasks on a computer system. The software is a written program by software developer. Thus a program is a set of instructions inputed into the computer system to enable it carry out various tasks. This makes Software an intangible part of the computer system, though they come in CDs.

Two Types of Software

  1. System Software
  2. Application Software

System Software

System Software is a computer software developed to operate the computer hardware so as to provide and maintain a system for running application software. Examples of System Software are:

  1. Operating System
  2. Utility Software
  3. Language Translators

Operating System

An Operating System is a software that comprises of programs and data that runs on computers, manages hardware resources and provided common services for operating various application software.

Types of Operating Systems

  1. Graphical User Interface operating system in this category have features that are interactive this making them user friendly and easier to use. Examples are Linux, Windows, etc

  2. Command based operating system use a command utility to communicate and special commands allows access to their features. This operating system requires the handles of an expert, thus a novice or amateur cannot easily work with them. Examples are Unix, MS-DOS etc

  3. Single User Operating System is developed to manage the resources of the computer and distributes them to one user. Example are MS-DOS etc

  4. Multi User Operating System allows access by multiple users of a computer concurrently. Thus it allows multiple users to run several programs at a time this is known as multiprogramming. Examples are UNIX, XENIX etc.

  5. Network Operating System connects computers and users together to distribute and share resources and communicate with one another. Examples include windows NT, Windows Server 2003 etc.

Language Translators

A Language Translator is a software that operates by converting programs written in a source code into an object code so that a computer can understand. Examples are BASIC, FORTRAN, COBOL.

Types of Translators

  1. Assemblers converts assembly program to machine code or object code.

  2. Compiler is a program that converts or translates High level language to machine code before execution.

  3. Interpreters is a program that translates High Level source code into codes that can be executed during execution. The difference between an interior and a compiler is that an Interpreter translates one line at a time and then executes.


Computer System Software are those non-physical components of the computer that ensure that computer programs run smoothly, resources are allocated, managed and re-distributed. A Computer System cannot operate without a software.


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