Jun 22, 2018

Definitions of different types of Software

Image: Definitions of different types of Software

Before the formal definition of software, we need to learn a few things.

Algorithm: A set of instructions that takes some data as input, and give us some output.

Program: An algorithm written in a programming language is known as Program.

Learn Basics about Computer Hardware and Software here

Software: A set of several programs to achieve same goals is called software. The software is a part of a computer system that consists of data or computer instructions, in contrast to the physical hardware from which the system is built. Software includes programs, function libraries and related non-executable data like documentation, database etc.

The software can be of three types:

  1. System software
  2. Application Software
  3. Utility software

System Software: A System software is designed to provide a platform for other software. Examples of system software include operating systems, computational science software, game engines, industrial automation, and software as a service application. The system software is designed for a particular system. It makes the system operational. Some common SS are drivers, compiler, loader, linker, operating system etc.

Application Software: Application means specific tasks. This type of software is designed for a particular application also known as apps. We use application software for day to day work. In contrast to system software, software that allows users to do things like creating text documents, play games, listen to music, or surf the web is called application software. Some common apps are MS Office, VLC, COC etc.

Utility software: In contrast to application software which is aimed at directly performing tasks that benefit ordinary users. The system administrator uses these softwares to analyze, configure, optimize and maintain computers. Some utility softwares come with OS by default. Antiviruses, network utilities, disk defragmenter, archives etc. fall into this categories. Some well-known names are Quick heal, Winrar, Wisecare etc.

Depending on the license we can categorize softwares into four types:

  • Freeware
    1. Trialware
    2. Demoware
    3. Open source
  • Commercial
    1. Personal
    2. Enterprise
    3. Professional


Freeware: This kind of software is available for free with full or limited functionalities.

    Demo Software: This kind of software have limited functionalities. Mainly distributed free and for demo purpose. For example wise care 360 free.

    Trialware: This kind of software has full functionalities of software but can be accessible/usable for a limited period of time. The intention is same as above. For example Megaping.

    Open Source: This kind of software is free and also customizable by the user. The source code is available for the developer’s community. For example Linux.


Commercial: This kind of software has full functionalities and need to be bought.

    Basic/Home/Personal: This kind of software licensed for only one person. Comes with all the basic functions. For example “Windows 10 Home”.

    Professional: This kind of software includes full functionalities as above. Comes with some additional features and tools, mainly for developers. For example “Windows 10 Professional”

    Enterprise: In contrast to Home edition, it is licensed to a company which can use the software on several PCs. It comes with all the major components and some additional industry need. For example “Windows 10 Enterprise”




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