What Are the Basics of Computer Software?

Patrick Burnett

When it comes to using a computer, one of the most important aspects is software. Computer software refers to a set of instructions that tell a computer what to do.

There are many different types of software that serve different purposes, but all software has some basic components in common. In this article, we will explore the basics of computer software.

Operating Systems

One of the most important types of software is the operating system (OS). An operating system is the primary interface between a user and a computer.

It manages all the hardware and software resources on the computer and provides a graphical user interface (GUI) for users to interact with. Some common examples of operating systems include Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux.


Applications are programs that perform specific tasks for users. They can be as simple as a calculator or as complex as an online game.

Applications can be installed on an operating system or run directly from the internet. Some popular applications include Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Creative Suite, and Google Chrome.

Programming Languages

Programming languages are used to create software applications. They provide programmers with a set of rules and syntax that they can use to write code that instructs computers to perform specific tasks. Some popular programming languages include Java, Python, C++, and Ruby.


Drivers are pieces of software that enable hardware devices to communicate with an operating system. Without drivers, hardware devices such as printers or scanners would not work properly with your computer.


Utilities are programs designed to help users manage their computers more efficiently. They can perform tasks such as disk cleanup, virus scanning, and file compression. Some examples of utilities include CCleaner, 7-Zip, and Malwarebytes.


Computer software is essential for modern-day computing. From operating systems to applications, programming languages to utilities, each type of software has its own purpose and function. This basic understanding of software will help you navigate the vast world of computing and make informed decisions about which software best meets your needs.