What is system software?
In computer science, it is known as system software or basic software to the series of programs pre-installed in the computer or computer system, and that allows to interact with the Operating System (the software that governs the operation of the entire system and guarantees its operability), for support other programs and ensure digital control of the hardware.
The basic software is usually very simple, inaccessible to most users and manages the physical potential of the computer, according to the instructions of the operating system, with which it should not be confused.
Various operating systems may control the same basic software, for example, as these are the commercial presentation of a program to manage system software in one way or another. However, in many cases, both terms are used as synonyms.
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Among the main functions of the system, the software is the control of the transfer of resources, the administration of the RAM, the access to the peripherals or the hard disk, in short, basic and fundamental tasks without which no system could work properly.
System software examples
Some possible examples of system software are:
- Program loaders. Programs in charge of executing other programs and guaranteeing the stability of the system.
- Operating systems. Many of its components, since a certain part of the OS, is part of other aspects of the system’s operation.
- Basic utility programs. As the guarantors of the correct state of the hardware, or the energy, temperature, etc. meters.
- BIOS. Acronym for Basic Input-Output System (Basic Input-Output System), is the elementary system information control program, which ensures that the computer communicates with the outside world.
- Command lines. Pre-programmed instructions in the system that allow to carry out very basic and indispensable functions, of priority execution.
A programming language or programming software is how programs that allow the construction and design of other computer programs are known. They are called that way because they comprise languages or formal protocols for the organization of algorithms and logical processes, which are then executed by a computer system to perform various purposes. With this type of software pieces of application software, system or even other programming languages are made up.
Application software means all programs that do not concern the operation of the computer but are installed in the system to achieve specific and determined functions: work tools such as spreadsheets, word processors, graphic design programs, among others; entertainment programs such as video games, audio or video players, etc. or simply information software, such as digital encyclopedias, Internet browsers, among others.