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June 20, 2016updated 07 Feb 2017 4:13pm

What is software?

First proposed by Alan Turing, CBR looks at what comes under the umbrella term of 'software'.

By Ellie Burns

Software is the programs and operating information used by a computer.

It is the part of the computer which holds encoded information or computer instructions – as opposed to computer hardware which is the collection of physical elements which make a computer.

In software engineering and computer science, software is all data or information processed by computer systems, programs and data.

Hardware and software must work together, with neither being able to realistically work without the other.

Synonymous with computer programs, ‘software’ was first proposed by Alan Turing and first used by John W. Tukey in 1957.

What types of software are there?

Today, computer software describes computer programs, libraries and related non-executable data like digital media.

Computer software can be classified based on the purpose or goal of the software. Application software, for example, is used to perform specific function beyond the basic operations of the computer.

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Malicious software, on the other hand, is designed to disrupt or harm the computer and is associated with cyber-crime.

Other types of software include operating systems, device drivers and system software.

 

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