Home / Computer Basics / Computer Hardware And Software / Types Of Computer Software / System Software / Internet Applications

Computer Hardware And Software / Types Of Computer Software / System Software / Internet Applications

Computer Hardware And Software / Types Of Computer Software / System Software / Internet Applications


A computer system consists of hardware and software.

• Hardware

All physical components of computer system, such as monitor, keyboard, hard disk, printer, along with the circuitry Connecting them are known as Computer hardware. Computer hardware is what you can physically touch and see. In simple words all tangible parts of computer system are referred as hardware.

• Software

Software is any set of instructions, also called programs, which are given to the Computer to perform any task or to do any activity. It tells the Computer what to do and how to do. Programming languages are used to prepare software.

A computer cannot do anything on its own. It must be instructed to do a desired job. Hence, it is necessary to specify a sequence of instructions, which a computer must perform to solve a problem. For example, word-processing software, spreadsheet software and database management software may contain many programs for Creating, editing, formatting and printing different types of documents.


Computer software can be classified into the following types.

• System Software

• Application Software

• Internet Applications

• Licensed Software, Open Source Software, Shareware and Freeware


System software is a collection of system programs that control and coordinate the activities of a computer system. System software consists of a collection of operative programs required to Control Computer hardware and also to execute application software. The purpose of system Software is to make the use of computer more effective and efficient. A computer without some kind of system software would be ineffective and impossible to operate. Some examples of system software are:

• Operating system

• Device Drivers

• Utility Software

• Language Processors/Translators

• Operating System

Operating system manages the hardware and software resources of a computer system, such as CPU, storage devices and all the input/output devices. Some commonly used operating systems are Windows, Linux, Mac OS and Android.

Operating system performs the following tasks.

• Allocates system resources

• Manages files by maintaining a proper file and folder system

• Loads and executes application software

• Controls the operation of all the input/output devices

• Maintains security

• Controls network operations

• Provides user interface

• Device Drivers

Device drivers are system software that controls the operation of hardware devices. When We attach any type of device, such as printer, scanner, network card, or digital camera to a Computer, it will not Work without a device driver. We have to first install the driver of a device in our computer before using it. Device drivers are provided by device manufacturers. Some devices like Mouse, Keyboard, Monitor, USB Flash drive, etc. are “Plug in Play” devices. Their software is pre-installed with Windows. When attached, the computer system automatically recognize them.

• Utility Software

Utility software (or simply utilities) provides additional facilities to carry out tasks which are beyond the capabilities of the operating system. A few important utilities are disk defragmenter, disk cleaner, file compression utilities, antivirus utility, file manager, network utilities and utilities to configure hardware devices.

• Language Processors/Translators

The computer can only understand machine language which consists of O’s and 1’s. Therefore, any program written in assembly language or high level language must be translated to machine language before execution by the computer. Language processors are used to translate computer programs into machine language. The types of language processors are assembler, compiler and interpreter.

Assembler is software that translates assembly language program into machine language. Assembly language consists of symbolic abbreviations called mnemonics which must be translated into machine language before execution by the computer. Each computer has its own assembly language.

Compiler is software that translates a program written in a high level language into machine language. It converts the entire program into machine language before execution by the computer.

Interpreter is software that translates high level language into machine language but it translates one instruction at a time and executes it immediately before translating the next instruction.


Application software is a set of programs designed to perform a specific task. For example, application software for payroll processing produces pay slips and application software for processing examination results produces mark sheets along with some other statistical reports.

Some examples of application software are:

• Productivity Software

• Business Software

• Entertainment Software

• Educational Software

•Productivity Software

Productivity software is used to improve the way people do their work. It speeds up the tally routine tasks performed by individuals and teams by eliminating the repetitive tasks. Productivity software includes word-processing, spreadsheet, database management and graphics software.

• Business Software

Business Software is used to run business activities. It helps in efficiently running business ions of a Company. Examples of business software are payroll, accounting, inventory and sail Software.

• Entertainment Software

Entertainment software is used to entertain people. It includes games, audio video player,

• Educational Software

Educational software is used for learning purpose. Examples of educational software are programs that teach about human body, working of an engine, solar system, typing, foreign age, music and subjects like Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, etc.


• Web Applications

• Cloud Computing Applications

• Social Media Network Applications

•Web Applications

A Web application is a program that runs on a remote server while its users interact with it through a Web browser. Some Common Web applications include web-based email programs (such as Gmail, Hotmail), online ticketing service, on line banking service, online auction, online retail sales, instant messaging services, etc.

• Cloud Computing Applications

Cloud application is a program that supports cloud computing. A cloud application is entirely stored on a remote server and is delivered over the Internet through a Web browser. Users of a cloud application need a computer with a high speed internet Connection.

• Social Media Network Applications

Social media is an internet-based communication system that allows the creation and exchange of information, ideas, common interests and other forms of expression. Social media websites connect users with their friends, family and colleagues through the use of Internet. Some popular examples of social media are Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.

Facebook Facebook is one of the fastest growing free social networking services used by millions of people all over the world. It allows registered users to create profile and exchange messages, photos, videos and links with other users. It helps users stay updated with what is happening around the world. It provides a platform by which users can Create groups and pages based on their common interests and share views and ideas.

Twitter: Twitter is an online news and social networking service which allows subscribers to broadcast short messages to other subscribers of the service. The short messages known as “tweets” are restricted to 140 characters. It is free to join service. It is totally different from email and more like a news broadcast. Users of Twitter service type short statements about what is going on in their life, what they are doing and what their thoughts and opinions are on specific topics or Current affairs. People all over the world are continually broadcasting tweets which can be viewed by anyone.

WhatsApp: WhatsApp is a free instant messaging service for smartphone users to exchange text, photos, videos and audio messages through Internet. It has become the largest messaging Service around the World. WhatsApp is very popular among teenagers because of features like group chatting, voice messages and location sharing. It was started for Android mobile devices but now it is available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Nokia Smartphone also.


• Licensed Software

A software license is a legal agreement that specifies the terms of use for a computer program. It defines the rights of the software developer and the user. When a person purchases software, he is allowed to use the software, which means he is not the Owner of the Software. Generally all the system software and application software is licensed.

The software license deals with the Copyright Law. Copyright law prevents illegal Copying of computer software. It allows creators of computer software to benefit financially from their software and to retain some control over how it is used.

When the software is given away free, it makes it difficult for the software creators to stay in business. This makes it improper to make Copies of software and sell it. Software that is copied and sold without the permission of the owner is known as pirated software and it is violation of Copyright.

Examples of licensed software are Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office.

• Open Source Software

It is computer software that is available in the form of source code that allows users to study, change and improve it. Open source software is free for inspection, modification and distribution. It allows certain rights which are normally protected by Copyright Law. Linux operating system is an open source software.

• Shareware

Shareware is given to people free of charge for a limited time period. After the expiry time, this software should be purchased for further usage. Shareware is a trial version and its functionality is limited. There are some types of shareware which are available as full version but they stop working at the end of trial period. The trial period is usually 30 or 60 days. Some shareware can be downloaded from Internet. For examples some Antivirus Software are shareware.

• Freeware

Freeware is available for use, free of cost. It is usually full version of the Software for an unlimited period of time. This software may have restrictions in term of use. For example, it may be allowed for personal or academic use only or for non-profit use. Some examples of freeware are Skype, Viber and Mozilla Web browser.


Firmware is an intermediate form between hardware and software. It consists of Software embedded in electronic devices during their manufacturing. Firmware is used when the programs are rarely or never expected to be changed, for example, in toys, appliances and ROM. Firmware is also used when the programs must not be lost when the power is off.


Internet application Security refers to preventive measures against threads that can harm the Internet applications. Internet applications are available 24/7 and offer access to many people leading to high risk of intrusion. Internet applications are venerable to a wide variety of threats. Hackers can steal, modify or delete sensitive data. To ensure application security, it is essential to Continuously monitor the activity of server on which the application is running and block hackers trying to obtain sensitive data. Internet application security system consists of firewalls, anti-virus programs, spyware detection and removal programs and encryption/decryption programs.

About Muhammad Nouman Sheikh

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