It is undeniable that today’s world moves to the beat of technology; practically all of us have interacted somehow with a computer system of some kind, or concepts as foreign as “hardware” or “software” sound familiar to us. However, for many, images 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 doubts about this concept, giving a clear definition of software for all our readers.
What Is Software?
According to the IEEE, It is the set of computer programs, procedures, rules, documentation, and associated data, which are part of a computer system’s operations. They interact with system resources and seek to solve problems posed by the end-user, so the vast majority of them are designed so that communication and interaction with the said user are 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 to operate the program and develop new derived software.
The Classification Of Software According To Its Function
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 remains 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 controls the electronic circuits of our equipment. It is essential to recognize hardware in a computer and find it in many ways; one of the most common forms that we can see is the BIOS of our system (to which we dedicate its text).
Operating system. The is a set of programs in charge of managing a system’s hardware and 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 remain intended to solve the problems raised by the users of a plan 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.
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For the user. It is important to know that the software they normally use is not their property but the developer. 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 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 restriction on their use and can be downloaded free of charge for immediate service. However, the authorship of these programs and their ownership remains the property of the developers.
- Software This category includes all free access programs that can remain used for free and whose code is available (AND open) for its users to modify.
Some put restrictions on the licenses derived from the transformations of the program. And those who let everything about the program in question remain modified at will for absolutely everyone. The schedule of the OpenSource initiative would fall into this category.
A Few Final Words
As you can see. The 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.
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Review Definition Of Software: What It Is For And Why It Is Important.