System Software: Everything A Beginner Should Know
System software provides an interface between the hardware components of the computer and the user. To do this, it must receive data from the hardware and take appropriate action on that data.
For example, a mouse readout tells system software what button has been pressed by the user so that it can take appropriate actions such as moving the cursor onscreen or closing a window.
System software also provides a way for applications to communicate with each other, either directly or through operating systems, which translate their communications into those used by all applications at once. Without system software, programs would have no way of interacting with each other at all; instead, they would have to interact individually with each piece of hardware they needed access to.
What is system software?
System software is software that operates the computer’s hardware, and any applications that run on it.
It is a collection of programs that work together to provide a complete user experience on your device.
Types Of System Software
Following are the major types of system software:
- Operating system
- Driver software
- Utility software
1. Operating System
Operating system (OS) is the software that enables a computer to function. They are responsible for managing all the hardware and software components of your computer, allowing them to communicate with each other.
2. Driver Software
Driver Software is a program that allows you to install and configure your hardware. If a driver is missing, it means that the software that controls the hardware is not installed.
Driver Software is software that allows the operating system to use the hardware of your computer. It is responsible for communicating with the hardware when you plug in a device or turn it on.
When you install a new piece of hardware, such as a printer, scanner, or webcam, it will usually come with its driver software to get it working properly with your computer.
Windows comes with built-in drivers for most common devices, but if you plug in an unknown device (or one which isn’t supported) then Windows may not recognize it at all or may install its generic driver instead.
Many people prefer using third-party drivers because they often work better than those included with Windows (and are often free!). However, there are risks involved in downloading and installing third-party software onto your PC – especially if it’s not genuine software!
3. Utility software
It is a category of software that provides core functionality to other programs or provides key features that are not essential for the primary use of the host program. Utility software is sometimes called an “add-on” because it adds to the functionality of a host program.
Examples of utility software include;
Command-line utilities: These allow users to interact with their computer in a command line interface, rather than through an on-screen graphical user interface (GUI). Command-line utilities are useful if you want to run a program without having to rely on a GUI.
Examples include find and grep, which search through files and directories using regular expressions; sort and unique, which sort and remove duplicates from files; and diff, which compares two files line by line.
System tools: These provide basic functions such as managing memory and providing access to system information, such as running processes or displaying device information. System tools may also provide access to hardware devices that are not otherwise available through the operating system.
Examples include volume management tools (which manage hard drives), file systems (which manage filesystems), network managers (which manage network connections), and security tools (which manage security settings).
Benefits Of System Software
Here are the benefits of system software:
• The operating system ensures that all applications run on a computer properly.
• It allows you to use multiple programs at the same time, without having to restart the computer every time you switch between them.
• It prevents viruses from infiltrating your computer by scanning files for malicious content before they can be opened or executed on your machine.
• The operating system lets you customize your desktop appearance and add new features like desktop shortcuts or widgets that can help you get around quickly and easily within your computer’s interface (UI).
• The operating system can be modified through customization tools such as those provided by third-party vendors, allowing users to create their customizations rather than relying entirely on pre-packaged default configurations offered by the manufacturer of their device(s).
• Provides security functions by protecting data stored on disk drives, network devices, and other resources from unauthorized access or modification by unauthorized users or programs.
Frequently asked questions
What are the functions of system software?
The main function of system software is to control the operation of hardware devices and applications, such as input/output (I/O) devices, disk drives, printers, and communication lines.
It also manages memory resources, such as disk space, processor power, and bus bandwidth. In addition, it provides an interface for user programs to use these resources.
System software involves the task of managing computers and their components. System software may handle basic input-output (BI/IO) devices such as keyboards, mice, and monitors; it may also handle hard drives and other devices in a computer’s internal structure.
System software may also handle peripherals such as printers or scanners, which are usually connected to a computer through a USB port or serial port cable.
Finally, the system software may include other applications that run alongside the operating system like anti-virus programs or backup programs.
Recommended Reading: What is Application Software, Types & Benefits