What Are the Different Types of Software?

What Are the Different Types of Software?

Software is the collection of data and programs that help our computer run the specific tasks we use every day. While hardware is the actual physical components of your laptop, tablet or desktop computer, the software is the guts of how everything works inside the hardware. You need your computer to run specific tasks – like typing an email or playing a game – and the software enables that to be done successfully. When they aren’t working successfully, that’s when it’s time to call a trusted IT service in Denver


Here’s a look at some of the basic software types and how they help your computer perform each day.


System Software


This is the foundation of everything that’s happening within your computer. This is the operating system. Think Windows or macOS for your computer – or even iOS or Android for your phone. This software provides a platform for the other software inside your system. It’s also made up of the programs that run the computer itself. 


This is the essential software of your computer or device, but can also include things like game engines or industrial automation software. This is where the system’s crucial files like drivers for hardware, configuration files, and files for system services reside. It generally runs things in the background, and allows the other software to work smoothly. 


Utility Software


The next tier of software in your system is the utility software, which performs takes to ensure that the computer continues running optimally. This type of software is always running in the background, and is comprised of things like anti-virus software and other security programs, to other tools that optimize the performance of the hardware. 


This also includes all of the applications that back up your saved data and other things on your hard drive. The main priority of utility software is to keep the system stable and running smoothly. While this is generally thought of as protecting your system from outside influences, it can mean protecting from overusing the system, as well. 


Application Software


The next tier is application software, which is probably the software that many of us are most familiar with. These are the programs like word processors or web browsers or those that help us make spreadsheets and presentations. They can be programmed to do a multitude of specific tasks, and work directly within the operating system to make sure things can be loaded and saved to and from your hard drive. 


This also includes all of your software that plays music or allows you to have virtual meetings with your co-workers. The list goes on and on. Very few things you do on your computer don’t fall into this category. If there is a digital solution for something that can be downloaded in the app store, it falls under the massive umbrella of application software. 


There are many types of software that all have to work in concert with each other to make your system run smoothly. For more information on the different types of software and how they work within your system, reach out to the IT experts at Elevate Outsourced IT today.