What is software? Simply explained

by Pramith

Software is a word often used in the technology and computer world to describe a collection of instructions and data that allow computers to perform tasks.

What software is: Explanation of the collective term

“Software” is usually used as a synonym for “programs”. However, associated data also falls under the term “software”:

  • Software refers to all non-physical components of a computer-based system. In the case of a notebook or PC, the operating system is just as much software as the programs installed on it and any data that is generated with it.
  • In contrast to software, hardware comprises the physical components of a computer system. Software, on the other hand, is immaterial and exists in the form of code.
  • There are different types of software, each of which fulfills different functions and tasks.
  • System software: This type of software manages the basic functions of a computer. This includes the operating system (such as Windows, macOS or Linux), which controls the hardware and enables the execution of application software.
  • Application software: This software enables you to perform specific tasks. Examples include word processing programs (such as Microsoft Word), web browsers (such as Google Chrome) and games.
  • User program software: These programs support the administration and maintenance of the computer system, for example antivirus software or data backup programs.

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