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What is a Software?

Software is a collection of instructions to solve a problem. These instructions tell the computer what to do. Software is nothing but computer programs.

Software Categories Software are two types:-


The software which is essential for the computer to work at any time. Eg:- Operating System

Operating System
An operating system is a special piece of system software that manages and controls the general operation of a computer system. Examples Windows XP Windows Vista Mac OS X Linux Unix Windows 7 Without an operating system, a computer is of little use.

Tasks/functions of the Operating System:1. Memory management 2. input and output device management 3. File management 4. Process management 5. Applications management 6. It provides a user interface so that we can interact with the computer

What is a User Interface?

The system that people use to interact with a computer (to give it commands, to see the results of those commands, etc.) is known as the user interface. There are 3 types of User Interfaces 1. Graphical User Interface (GUI) 2. Menu Driven Interface 3. Command-Line Interface (CLI)

1.Graphical User Interface (GUI)

A GUI is an interface built around visual (graphical) things: Windows are regions of the screen used to display information Icons are small pictures that are used to represent folders, software, etc. Menus are lists of options the user can select from A pointer is an arrow that can be moved around the screen and is used to select things Eg:-Windows XP ,Windows 7 Adv:1. Quite easy to use due to the visual nature of the interface the user has lots of visual clues as to what things do. 2. Disadv:To display all of the nice graphics required by a GUI takes a lot of computing power so quite a powerful computer is needed.

2.Menu Driven Interface

This type of interface lets you interact with a computer or device by working your way through a series of screens or menus. Eg:1. iPod or mobile phone, they both use a menu driven interface. 2. Cash point machines (ATMs) 3. Menus in MS Office Adv:1. simple to use, you just follow the instructions and make your choices. 3. Command Line Interface (CLI) In Command Line Interface user has to learn and type commands for each operation. Eg: Disk Operating System(DOS) where you need to type each commands. Examples of DOS commands

DIR To display directories or files CLS To clear the screen Adv:1. Easy for experts Disadv:-

1. No visual clues to tell you what to do next. 2. This meant computers used to be quite difficult to use, so this type of interface is only really suitable for expert users.

II. Application Software

Software that meant for an application. Eg:-MS Word- Word processing MS Excel -Spreadsheet, graphics packages and web browsers Different types 3

1. General purpose software 2. Specialist software 3. Tailor made or bespoke software 4. Integrated software 1. General purpose software Examples include word processors, spreadsheets, databases, desktop publishing packages, graphics packages etc.

2. Specialist Software These applications are designed to be used for specific tasks. Eg:- company payroll, stock control systems, appointment systems. 3. Tailor-made /Bespoke Software The main advantages are: The company will get the exact software/system that they need The software will work exactly how they want it to work The software will only have the features that they specifically need in their business. The main disadvantages of this approach are: It takes a long time to develop. Expensive to develop. The company may need to employ as business analysts, programmers, testers to etc Less user support and online help 4.Integrated Packages Some manufacturers decided to put a selection of the most popular general purpose software together and sell it as one package at a much cheaper price than buying each package individually. This is called an integrated package Eg:- CD of Office 2010,Office 2007 etc which has WORD,Excel,PowerPoint,Access,Access