Software: Definition, Types and Functions


The way we create content and other things have changed in today’s world. There are a plethora of new and high-tech technologies paired with software that are accessible to people.

These tech products outline the specific way we choose to lead our lives as even houses are starting to benefit from the availability of these technologies. This has definitely led to an increase in demand for the development of custom software.

There are numerous types of software, and it can be overwhelming for any individual who tries to join a conversation about software without the proper information.

It’s even more overwhelming for those who do not understand that there are different types of software as they also do not know their uses in a thorough fashion.

In this article, we have answered questions like what is software, and what are the different software types that exist? Read further to learn more.

What is a Software?

A software or a computer software is basically any type of program that enable the users to carry out some specific task or any unseen program that is used to operate their computer.

It functions as a tool to direct all of the peripheral devices on the whole computer system- what exactly the system should do and how exactly how a task should be performed a task.

A software plays a significant role as a mediator between the computer hardware and the user. In the absence of the necessary software, a computer user essentially can not carry out any task on his computer.

A software product development company is a company that specializes in the development of software for users.

Types of Software

Generally, there are two primarily classifications of software, and those are namely, the System Software along and the Application Software.

Below is a detailed explanation of these software types.

1. System Software

In the case of the system software, its primary responsibility is to help the user and the hardware to both functions and have a seamless interaction with each other.

Essentially, the system software is one which is used to manage how computer hardware behaves in order to offer the basic functionalities they are required by the user.

These software sanction a platform or an environment for the other software to run with ease. Hence, it is the main reason why it is important that there is a system software in the management of the whole computer system.

Whenever you first turn on the computer, it is this system software that gets initialized and also gets loaded in the system’s memory. A system software runs essentially in the background, and it is not actually utilized by the users.

For this reason, the system software is also popularly called the low-level software. Companies often hire the best software developers to create system software.

Few of the conventional system software examples are:

a. Operating System

Being an essential example of system software, it is basically a collection of software that handles resources and also offers general services for different applications which run over them.

There are various types of operating systems like real-time, embedded, distributed, mobile, single-user, multi-user, internet, and lots more.

With full-stack web development services, apps can be developed to run on a mobile operating system like iOS and Android.

Some of the significant examples of operating systems include the following:

  • macOS
  • MS Windows
  • Linux
  • Android
  • iOS
  • CentOS
  • Ubuntu
  • Unix
  • iPadOS

b. Device Drivers

This is the type of software that controls specific hardware, which is mostly attached to the computer.

There are different hardware devices that require a driver to easily connect to a system, and they consist of displays, sound cards, printers, hard disks, mice, and keyboards.

A few of such drivers include:

  • Motherboard Drivers
  • BIOS Driver
  • ROM Drivers
  • Display Drivers
  • Printer Drivers
  • Sound Card Driver
  • VGA Drivers
  • USB Drivers

c. Firmware

Firmware is a permanent software that is embedded in the computer’s read-only memory. It is essentially a couple of instructions that are stored permanently onto the device hardware.

It offers crucial information about how a specific device interacts with various other hardware.

Below are some of the examples of firmware:

  • Embedded Systems
  • Computer Peripherals

d. Utility

These are software that are designed to assist with analyzing, optimizing, configuring, and maintaining a specific computer system.

It offers support to the infrastructure of the computer. Software such as management tools and disk cleanup, defragmenters, compression tools, anti-viruses, etc. are all utility software.

Below are some of the examples are:

  • McAfee Antivirus
  • Norton Antivirus
  • WinRAR
  • WinZip
  • CCleaner
  • Piriform
  • Opus Razer Cortex
  • Windows File Explorer Directory

2. Application Software

These are also popularly called end-user programs or productivity programs that work as assistants to the user in completing different tasks like carrying out online research, designing graphics, making notes, maintaining accounts, playing computer games, or even carrying out calculations.

They simply lie above the device system software. They are used by the end-user and also have specific tasks or functionality which they are designed to carry out.

This software are usually developed with the aid of custom software development, which is based on the user’s requirements. There is a variety of app software.

Some of them include:

a. Word Processors

These are applications that are created especially for documentation. It also assists in storing, formatting as well as printing of documents.

Good examples of such kinds of software:

  • Apple iWork-Pages
  • MS Word
  • Google Docs
  • Corel WordPerfect

b. Database Software

This type of software is used to create and manage a database and is also known as Database Management DBMS.

Such software is helpful in the data organization. Below are some of the examples:

  • FileMaker
  • MS Access
  • dBase
  • MySQL
  • FoxPro
  • Clipper

c. Multimedia Software

This is a software that is designed to play, create, and also record images, videos, and audio files.

These software are used for animation, graphics, video editing, and even for image editing.  As you may already have guessed, this software is a commonly used; thus they are always in high demand.

Every company focused on software product development has great avenues in developing them.

Below are some of the examples of multimedia software:

  • Picasa
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • VLC Media Player
  • Windows Media Player
  • Windows Movie Maker

d. Web Browsers

These are software that are utilized for browsing the internet. Web browsers are designed to assist the users in locating and retrieving data well across the web.

Below are some of the significant examples of them:

  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Internet Explorer
  • Google Chrome
  • Opera
  • UC Browser
  • Safari

However, there is also another classification of this kind of software. They can be easily classified on the basis of their availability and sharability.

Below are their classification:

1. Freeware

These are software that is available totally free of cost.

This means that a user can easily have them downloaded from the internet and can proceed to use them without paying any extra fees or charges.

However, they do not offer any type of liberty for users to modify the whole software or even charging a specific price for its distribution.

A really good software development company can easily create its own freeware to offer services to more customers.

Some of the examples of popular freeware software are:

  • Skype ImgBurn
  • Adobe Reader
  • Audacity Team Viewer
  • Yahoo Messenger

2. Shareware

This software is a freely distributed one that users can enjoy on a fixed trial basis.

It is generally offered with a set time limit, and when the time limit expires, the user is eventually required to pay a fixed fee to enjoy continued services.

You will have come across different types of shareware such as Donationware, Adware, Freemium, Demoware, etc.

Below are a few of the common examples of shareware:

  • Getright
  • Adobe
  • PHP
  • Acrobat
  • Debugger
  • WinZip

3. Open-source

These kinds of software are usually made available to users together with their source code, and that means that the user will be able to easily modify and also distribute the software with some additional features to them. Moreover, these can either be free or chargeable.

A few examples of such software include:

  • Thunderbird
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Collection Moodle
  • Apache Web Server
  • GNU Compiler


Many people are fast going into software development, and there is no guessing why they are doing do.

With the growing role of software in the everyday lives of the people, companies that offer full-stack web development services are now providing the latest software to meet their demands.

As you have already learned from this article, there are different types of software, and the market of system software is presently saturated with major players such as Microsoft, Apple, etc.

While there is stiff competition for application software with both new and established players competing to get the extra edge, the market continues to expand.

As you have already learned above, there are various kinds of software that you can select from, and they have unique functions.

A software development company can choose to venture into the development of any of the above software to make huge profits from users.

We hope that this article has been useful to you. Kindly leave your questions and share your thoughts below in the comments section.

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