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Software

Sometimes abbreviated as SW and S/W, software is a collection of instructions that enable the user to interact with a computer, its hardware, or perform tasks. Without software, computers would be useless. For example, without your Internet browser, you could not surf the Internet or read this page and without an operating system, the browser could not run on your computer. The picture to the right is a Microsoft Excel software box and an example of a spreadsheet software program.

Software can be thought of as the variable part of a computer and hardware the invariable part. Software is often divided into application software (programs that do work users are directly interested in) and system software (which includes operating systems and any program that supports application software). The term middleware is sometimes used to describe programming that mediates between application and system software or between two different kinds of application software (for example, sending a remote work request from an application in a computer that has one kind of operating system to an application in a computer with a different operating system).

Some general kinds of application software include:

  • Productivity software, which includes word processors, spreadsheets, and tools for use by most computer users
  • Presentation software
  • Graphics software for graphic designers
  • CAD/CAM software
  • Specialized scientific applications
  • Vertical market or industry-specific software (for example, for banking, insurance, retail, and manufacturing environments)

Software Technique

Software can be thought of as the variable part of a computer and hardware the invariable part. Software is often divided into application software and system software