Computer software programs enable computers to perform specific tasks. It is removable and is differentiated from the physical components of the computer system which is called hardware. Application software allows a user to do something specific as in a word processing software program. System software allows the computer to run application software by interfacing with hardware and other software made to user specifications.
In computers, software is loaded into the random access memory (RAM) and is executed in the central processing unit (CPU). At its lowest level, software consists of machine language specific to an individual processor. Software is a sequence of instructions that changes to state of the computer’s hardware in a particular sequence so that the programs can run properly.
There are many different types of software. Of course, the system software is the operating system such as Windows or Linux. Application software can be in the form of games, applications, word processors, spreadsheet programs, and more. It is installed in the RAM and a point and click link is put onto the desktop to allow the user to launch the program easily.
Another type of software is programming software. This is a program that provides tools to a user allowing them to write computer programs in a computer language without having to know everything about that language. Programming software will include text editors, interpreters, link generators, and more. A good example of programming software would be Dreamweaver that allows a person to develop a web page without having a working knowledge of HTML.
A simple example of the way software operates can be illustrated by what happens when a user selects an entry such as “Copy” from a menu. In this case, a conditional instruction is executed to copy text from data in a document area residing in memory. If a different menu entry such as paste is chose, the software may execute the instructions to copy the text from the clipboard data area to a specific location in the same or another document in memory.
The only limitations on the use of computer software in applications lies in the ingenuity of the designer/programmer. Large areas of activities formerly assumed to be incapable of software simulation are now routinely programmed. The only area that has so far proven reasonably secure from software simulation is the realm of human art, but developments in this area are surely not far away.