Software Concepts

System Software

System Software

Software is a set of programs that are used to perform a specific task. Similarly, system software is a set of programs that handles all the basic internal working of a computer. Moreover, it executes and controls all the working of different peripheral devices and other basic tasks and software. Examples of system software are operating systems like Microsoft Windows, Android, Linux, etc. Application software on the other hand is specific task-based software that is designed for a particular purpose only such as PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, etc. Here, we will learn in detail about the system software.

system software

Types of System Software

Let us look at some different types of system software:

1. Operating System

An operating system is system software that controls the working of computer hardware and software. Moreover, it acts as a common connection between the computer hardware and software. In other words, we can also call it an interface between the hardware and the users. In addition to this, it keeps the records of all other software. Examples of operating systems are Microsoft Windows, Android, Linux, Apple iOS, Apple macOS.

Some important tasks performed by the operating system are:

1. Scheduling

It schedules the priority of each process using scheduling algorithms. It helps the CPU to decide which process will be executed first.

2. Memory Management

The operating system keeps a record of the primary memory. Moreover, when any process requires the memory, its allocation, and deallocation of the memory.

3. File Management 

Besides memory, it also performs the function of allocating and deallocating the resources.

4. Security

Protects data and other software from unauthorized access through authentication.

2. Language Processors

It is a special type of system software that converts the source code into machine code. The input given has to be in object code only hence, we use language processors. Also, the machine code executes faster as compared to the source code.

Source Code

It is the code provided by the user. This code is in a high-level language (HLL). The computer does not understand the HLL.

Object Code

The object code is the binary code. As the computer understands binary language only, therefore, it is also called machine code.

Different Types of Language Processors are:

1. Assembler

It converts assembly language to machine language.

2. Interpreter

It is a type of system software that executes the program line by line.

3. Compiler

It is also a type of system software that executes the whole program at once.

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System Utilities

These types of system software are used for the proper and smooth functioning of the computer system. They perform functions like removing outdated files, recover data which is accidentally lost, finding information, arranging data and files in an orderly manner, compress disk drive, install and uninstall programs, etc.

Different types of utility software are:

1. Antivirus Software

They are used to protect the system from viruses. Some examples are Quick Heal, McAfee, etc.

2. Compression Tools

They help compress large files. The files can be changed to the original form when we require it. Examples are WinRAR, PeaZip, etc.

3. Disk Management Tools

They are used to manage data on the disks efficiently so that the system performance can enhance. Examples are Disk Cleanup Tool, Backup Utility, etc.

4. Device Drivers

These types of system software are used for the operation of the peripheral devices. Each device connected to the computer has its own driver. These drivers basically contain instructions that tell the operating system how to operate the device.

Some drivers are pre-installed on the computer while some others are installed when a new device is added. The audio device, video device, scanner, camera, etc. all require a driver. A driver tells the operating system how to use the device.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What is system software?

A1. The system software is a set of programs that controls the internal functioning of the computer system.

Q2. What is the difference between system software and application software?

A2. System software controls the internal working of a computer whereas, application software performs only some specific tasks.

Q3. What are the types of system software?

A3. Types of system software are:

  • Operating System
  • Language Processors 
  • System Utilities 
  • Device Drivers

Q4. What is source code and machine code?

A4. The code in a high-level language is the source code. While the code in the binary language is the machine code or object code. The computer understands the machine code only.

Q5. What are the language processors?

A5. As the computer understands only machine code therefore, language processors convert the source code to the machine code.

Q6. What is the difference between interpreter and compiler?

A6. An interpreter executes the program line by line while the compiler executes the whole program at once.

Q7. Give examples of the operating system.

A7. Android, Apple macOS, Apple iOS, Linux, Microsoft Windows.

Q8. What are system utilities? Give examples.

A8. System utilities help for the smooth functioning of the computer system. Examples are Quick Heal Antivirus, WinRAR, Backup Utility, etc.

Q9. Why do we need device drivers?

A9. Device drivers or drivers inform the operating system about the devices added to the computer. Further, it tells the operating system how to use the device. Moreover, each device has its own device driver.

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