It is undeniable that today’s world moves to the beat of technology; practically all of us have interacted in some way with a computer system of some kind, or concepts as foreign as “hardware” or “software” sound familiar to us; but for many, concepts are still difficult to internalize. In the case of software and its definition, as it does not have a physical reference attached to it, it tends to present certain difficulties for many regular users. Today we want to clear up doubts about this concept, giving a clear definition of what is software its uses and importance for all our readers. software meaning in computer
The software is the set of computer programs, procedures, rules, documentation and associated data, which are part of a Computer System. e.g. CAM software.
According to the IEEE , It is the set of computer programs, procedures, rules, documentation and associated data, which are part of the operations of a Computer System; they interact with system resources and seek to solve the problems posed by the end user; which is why the vast majority of them are designed so that communication and interaction with said user is possible in a simple way. To give an example, our readers are the end user of the device where they are reading these lines.
To achieve this communication, programs usually have a very high level of abstraction, which moves them away from the assembly language and makes it easy not only to operate the program, but also to develop new derivative software .
The classification of software according to its function software meaning in computer
As this description is so broad, there are many elements within a Computer System that we could call software , so their differentiation is common. One of the most common and widespread differentiation methods is carried out as a result of the function of each program in a computer system; namely:
- It is a very low-level program, not intended for the user to interact with it and which controls the electronic circuits of our equipment. It is essential for the recognition of hardware in a computer and we find it in many ways; one of the most common forms that we can find is the BIOS of our system (to which we dedicate its own text).
- Operating system. They are a set of programs in charge of managing the hardware of a system; as well as providing an interface to communicate with the end user of said system. Windows 8 and Windows 10 are the most widely used operating systems today.
- Along with the operating system, it is the type of program with which most users interact. They are intended to solve the problems raised by the users of a system directly. Adobe Photoshop could be an application example.
- Its function is to perform background tasks to facilitate the operation of other programs; they are an intermediate medium and users do not have to interact directly with them.
software meaning in computer
For the user, it is important to know that the software they normally use is not their property, but the developer’s. The programs usually have a series of licenses that take into account the attribution of the developer and what the end user can do (legally) with the program; The most common are the following and knowing them can be useful:
- Restricted use. It is a license (usually paid) that allows the user of a system to use a licensed program normally; but it prevents both its distribution and its internal manipulation. Most proprietary software falls into this category; an example could be the Microsoft Office suite .
- Test.If a payment is required to access the license to use a program, alternatively, access is usually given to a reduced version of said license; the so-called “lite” versions and time-restricted trial versions often fall into this category.
- The programs under this license do not have any type of restriction on their use and can be downloaded free of charge for immediate use; although the authorship of these programs and their license remains the property of the developers.
- Software This category would include all free access programs that can be used for free and whose code is available (AND open) for its users to modify. software meaning in computer
There are those who put restrictions on the licenses derived from the transformations of the program and those who let everything about the program in question be modified at will for absolutely everyone. The programs of the Open Source initiative would fall into this category. software meaning in computer.
A few final words
As you can see, software is a crucial part of how your computer works and appears in it in various forms and functions; Not only does it help us to solve the problems we pose to our devices, but they also take part in actions that the average user is not aware of. If you want to know more about this topic, we recommend this reading about its analog : hardware.