System Software

PC system software is any software which manages and controls PC hardware for application software to perform a task. Operating systems like Microsoft Windows and Linux are good examples of the type of software.

It performs tasks like transferring data from memory to disk, or rendering text onto a display device. This includes loading programs, device drivers, programming tools, compilers, assemblers and utility software.

Software libraries that perform generic functions are also viewed as system software. Almost all computers, including hand held computers, desktops, laptops, notebooks and game consoles, use an operating system.

The purpose of the software is to insulate the applications programmer as much as possible from the details of the particular computer complex being used, especially memory, other hardware features, and accessory devices such as communications, printers, readers, displays, keyboards, etc.

Basically the software is what makes a computer work. Examples beside operation systems are anti-virus software, communication software and printer drivers. Without it the computer doesn’t work.

In general, application software are programs that enable the end-user to perform specific, productive tasks, such as word processing or image manipulation. System software performs tasks like transferring data from memory to disk, or rendering text onto a display device.

An operating system creates an interface between user and the system hardware. Language processors are those which help to convert computer language (Assembly and high level Languages) to machine level language.

System Software can be classified as operating system and language processors. Examples of language processors are assemblers, Compilers and interpreters. Specific kinds of the software include:

  • loading programs
  • Operating system
  • device drivers
  • programming tools
  • compilers
  • assemblers
  • linkers
  • utility software

Software libraries that perform generic functions also tend to be regarded as system software, although the dividing line is fuzzy; while a C runtime library is generally agreed to be part of the system, an OpenGL or database library is less obviously so.

Author: Caroline Becht