Software is a series of directives and instructions that tell a particular computer how to perform a certain task. In comparison to physical hardware, such as a CPU, where the machine actually does the work and is very detailed, software is much more lightweight. Basically, this is all a computer needs to perform any task, such as opening up a Word document or PowerPoint presentation. Obviously, the computer needs a large number of these instruments if it is to do anything at all.
Thus, the computer software system is what enables the computer to perform its duties. This system software manages the various devices that make up the computer hardware. It connects these devices together, using communication protocols such as serial ports or parallel ports to communicate with the input and output devices. The operating system also plays a big role in managing the software on the hardware. The operating system controls the operations of the hardware on a system level and modifies the software whenever new tasks are entered into the computer’s memory.
Much of the same analogy can be applied to software systems. In computer software, the device drivers allow the computer to read and respond to instructions from hardware. Just as the hardware has device drivers that allow the device to be recognized and used, so too have computer systems need system software. It allows a computer to “talk” to the device in terms of commands and instructions. In turn, this allows the computer to respond to those commands and requests in the appropriate manner.
To elaborate, this type of function is an invariable part of the machine. It cannot be changed unless the computer tells the hardware what to do. This relationship greatly impacts how software is written, compiled and executed. Since each program is dependent upon the preceding one and each instruction follows after the previous, there are no loop holes, and the generated computer programs are always correct.
On the other hand, the relationship between computer software and computer hardware is not at all smooth. When a program is written, it is not necessarily written for a particular computer hardware setup. The operating system, for example, can change the way programs work with different hardware setups. This means that if a programmer uses Intel based processors, then the software will run differently on laptops than it will work on desktops. The use of multithreaded programming languages also leads to many differences in the output from different computer hardware setups. In general, though, the software refers to the application which is written to run on the hardware that is present in the computer system.
In order for a programmer to create good quality software, he or she must know how each piece of computer hardware works. Hardware operations such as clock speeds and fan speeds can make a difference in the final product. Computer system software, meanwhile, refers to the set of computer programs that are written to operate on that operating system. There are usually a number of different programs in a single computer system. This is why it is important for computer systems to be up to date, which is to say, that they must be regularly updated so that they are able to operate as efficiently as possible in the current environment.