We know that we use computers all the time and that the said computers have a plethora of software installed. What we don’t know is that the software comes in types. Yes, we differ between a text editor and a video game, even though they are both software, but they are the same type of software.
Let us look at the different types of software there are and see if we cannot understand them better.
It is important to differentiate between software and there is an easy way to do so. There are two main software types, system software and application software. One is used to make a platform and control that platform and the other are applications which the user interacts with.
System software is a platform which other software uses to run. It is used to provide a layer of compatibility and make building and running apps easier. System software also has subgroups, the first one being an operating system.
Operating systems are also platforms for other higher software to run, and they are often tied to a certain architecture, though with a translator, you could use a single system for different microarchitecture, for example x86 and ARM.
Translators are a part of system software, where they divide into interpreters, assemblers and compilers.
Utility programs are used to control the system and interface with the hardware, where you will find firmware, an example of which we know as the BIOS.
Finally, libraries are used by other software to make development easier.
This is the type of software we are familiar with, things that we use on a daily basis. General purpose software can be found on this list, like a browser or a word processor.
Special software are programs used for special purposes, like banking, accounting, government data storage and more.
Bespoke software is custom software which is built for a single purpose, and that can be anything from a custom ecommerce service to your own custom server/client service.
Software We Know
We interact with an operating system all the time, Linux, macOS and Windows. We also use general purpose software all the time, like browsers, Chrome, Firefox and more. We also use translators all the time, but we don’t know it because they run in the background. When we go into our UEFI/BIOS, we also interact with firmware. When we control our hardware, we also use utility software.
While we often don’t use special software on a daily basis, we do interact with different types of software, from operating systems to applications.
This is a brief overview of the various types of software there is as well as some examples of the software types.