What is

Software - Explanation and definition of software

What is software

Software is all immaterial or intangible part that runs a computer to perform a series of specific tasks, software encompassing all the digital information that makes the set of physical and material elements that conform the computer work intelligently.

Any computer is composed of two distinct parts hardware and software, the hardware represents all physical materials of the computer as the system board, microprocessor, keyboard or hard disk where the information is stored, so that all these physical elements software that represents all the immaterial part we do not see the computer work it need, the software is the operating system that runs on your computer, it is the text editor that lets you write documents, is the game that occupy your leisure time and the browser currently are using to read this article. We can say that when loading the software to our computer we are giving instructions or required to perform a number of tasks education.

Software is like music, when a composer writes a song uses a language based on a system of musical notation by signs in a document called score, which is interpreted by musicians when they play the instruments producing music language. In this simile we can see as the physical part and materials are the tools (hardware) that are used by musicians thanks to the score (software code) and consequently produce the music (software) that is an immaterial effect that cannot see or touch.

We consider the first software to set of perforated tapes that were used with the first programmable computer Z1 in 1938, although the term was first coined in 1958 by mathematician and statistician John Wilder Turkey when he called software to programs that were operated on electronic calculators in his article written in the "American mathematician monthly".

During the first decades of the computing time the manufacturers of the first computers were focused on hardware development, abandoning the software to a set of programmers who developed complex and expensive programs that could only be run on the computer model that was were manufactured, with the passage of time and the emergence of programming languages began to develop programs that could run in a wide range of computers and with different utilities, during this time born software engineering as a set of methods, techniques and tools used for the development and maintenance of software.

Software Classification.

Today we have a wide range of available software developed for a specific purpose, the number of programs increases exponentially year after year, we can identify and classify different concepts as:

Location where is installed:

  • Network Software - these are programs and applications that are hosted on Internet or in a server and provide customer service through a network connection, its main characteristic is no need to install, configure and maintain it in the terminal itself, programs such as Office 365, Dropbox or Google Docs are examples among others is used.

  • Local Software - also known as desktop software are those that need to be installed and stored on the computer where you run, unlike network software, the suite Office by Microsoft, the graphic design program Photoshop or Windows operating system are examples of this type software.

Degree of freedom of use:

  • Free Software - represent the set of programs in which users have full freedom to copy, share and change it, for it generally has access to the source code of the program itself. The Linux operating system, the image editor Gimp or OpenOffice suite are examples of such programs.

  • Owner or proprietary software - represent the set of programs that users have limitations for editing, sharing or copying without the express permission of the owner of the software such as Windows operating system, the image editor Photoshop or Microsoft Office suite.

Functionality type:

  • Systems software - also known as operating systems such software manages and administers the hardware of the electronic device and the execution of other programs. Windows, iOS, Linux or Solaris are examples among others.

  • Programming software - represent the set of programs that allow us to develop, create and modify other programs, using this type of software we write the set of instruction in a given language which is known as program code, examples like Apple Xcode, Microsoft Visual Studio or Android of Google.

  • Application software - are other programs that are used for a specific purpose, it's kind of software is the most comprehensive that we find in the market, in turn can classify software:

  • Office - are all programs that facilitate the office tasks such as spreadsheets, text editors, graphic design, invoice management, POS, etc.

  • Business - are all those who are focused on their application in the business area, programs like SAP that manages and administers the entire enterprise, Solidworks enabling the design and calculation of structures and complex machines or Scada developed to operate industrial robots.

  • Communication - represent the set of programs to establish and facilitate communication and information between people, web browsers, emails managers, social web applications like twitter or Facebook and Facetime, Whatsapp or Skype are examples of this type of software.

  • Security - represent the set of antivirus that detect and eliminate programs that can alter the functioning of our electronic device. Norton, Panda or Karspersky are examples among others.

  • Malicious - contrary to previous such programs alter and manipulate information and operation of the computer without the consent of the user.

  • Entertainment - are all entertainment programs like video games, music and video players, digital book readers, etc.

  • Education - Aimed to teach and learn about a specific or general subject, can cite as examples the Encarta digital encyclopedia or Matlab mathematical program among others.

Now that you know what is software did you know that programmers call bug the writings error in the code that causes the program to trigger an unwanted result?, one of the most famous bugs was that of the Mars Climate Orbiter by NASA which was destroyed by a conversion error in the units.

what is software