Selection & Use of Software

Information about appropriate software and what uses it has.

The Operating System

The main purpose of the operating system is to allow the applications software (databases, browsers, word processors, games etc.) to interact with the computer hardware. It allows the computer hardware to behave in a predictable way so that the applications software can use it.

Brands of systems software include; Windows, Macintosh, UNIX and Linux.

Individual links which explain these operating systems in more detail can be found below:

Windows -

Macintosh -


Linux -

Applications Software

Applications software is software that allows the computer to be applied to a specific problem. Applications software would not normally be applied to the management of the resources of the computer such as the memory, time spent processing jobs and dealing with the input or output.

Applications software is software used for a particular purpose or applications such as order-processing, payroll, stock control, game-creating websites, image editing and word processing.

Some examples of applications software are:

- Microsoft Word (word processing)
- Microsoft Excel (spreadsheet software)

- MySQL (database software)

- Guild Wars 2 (game software)

- Adobe Photoshop (graphics software)

Systems Software

Systems software is any computer software that manages and controls the hardware thus allowing the applications software to do a useful job. Systems software is a set of programs which instructs the hardware what to do. Systems software consists of the following programs; operating system, GUI (graphical user interface), file management and utilities.

Systems software can be broken down into the operating system, GUI, file management and utility software.

Some examples of systems software are:

- Microsoft Windows

- Linux

- Mac OSX

- Bios software

- Device driver software

Click on the link below to gain access to information on interfaces: