Introduction to Software:

Software enables computer hardware to perform specific tasks. Software, commonly known as programs or applications, consists of all the electronic instructions that tell the hardware how to perform a task. The program you're using right now to view Wikiversity is a type of program called a browser. A browser contains all the instructions that tell your computer how to display a web site. Software is capable of performing many different specific tasks, as opposed to hardware which only perform mechanical tasks that they are designed for. There are three major types of software:

Operating System software:

Helps run computer hardware and computer system. Computer software includes the operating system, device drivers, diagnostic tools and more; the stuff that makes your computer useable by most people.The most commonly used operating systems software are:

* Windows
* Mac OS X
* Linux
* Unix
* AS400

Application software:

Allows users to accomplish one or more tasks; browsing the internet or writing a text document, for example:

* Database software
* Word processor
* Graphics software
* Spreadsheet
* Checking & Tax Software

* Programming software:

Software that assists a programmer in writing more computer software. Programming software makes it easier to come up with ideas for a program and make them a reality. Programming an application is done with a special language that the computer understands, called a programming language.