Software and Operating System

Software and Operating System




Software and Operating Systems

            A system software is the interface between users, application software and computer hardware. A word processing program is an application software. An operating system is a program that coordinates activities in the hardware devices of a computer. It avails users with varied means of communicating to other computers and software (Dusseau, 2014). According to Dusseau (2014), the common operating systems include windows, Linux, Blackberry, FreeRTOS, Android, Debian, OSX, Ios, and BSD. A computer system must run a system software (operating system) such as Mac OS, Linux, and Windows. An operating system loads into the memory from the hard disk of a computer every time one starts a computer (Dusseau, 2014).

The operating system

            The loaded operating system coordinates activities such as transferring data from input to output devices and initiating application software. A computer’s operating system manages all processes, the software, and hardware. The operating system ensures that the various programs in a computer are running, accessing the central processing unit (CPU), storage, and memory (Bala, Sharma, & Kaur, 2015).

Types of OS

            Abhilash & Vasthav (2015) argue that most computers have installed operating systems during purchase for use. It is possible to upgrade the operating system. The Linux, Microsoft windows, and Mac OS X are common operating systems used in personal computers (Abhilash & Vasthav, 2015). A graphical user interface (GUI) is among the modern operating systems using the mouse to click menus, buttons, and icons. Graphics and text display operations in the computer. They are easy to use because of similarities of basic principles (Dusseau, 2014).

Microsoft windows

            Microsoft manufactured the Windows operating system in the 1980s.the many versions of windows operating systems include windows 10, 8, 7, and Vista. The OS comes reloaded in most computers around the world (Abhilash & Vasthav, 2015).

            Mac OSX

            According to Dusseau (2014), Apple created Mac OS, which is preloaded in new Macintosh computers. The latest version is OS X (O-S 10). The different versions include El Capitan (released in 2015), Yosemite (2014 release), Mavericks (2013 release), Lion (2011 release), and Mountain Lion (2012 release). The population using windows operating system is 80% as compared to 10% using Mac OS X. Apple computers are expensive (Dusseau, 2014).


            Linux is an open-source operating system, because it is distributed and modified by all people in the world. However, the owner company only modifies proprietary software such as windows. Linux is free and has many versions to choose from and easy to customize. Linux users are less than 2% in the world (Abhilash & Vasthav, 2015).

Operating systems for mobile devices

            Mobile devices such as tablet computers, MP3 players, and phones differ from desktop computers and laptops. They use Apple IOS and Google Android operating system to run. Mobile operating systems enable users to watch movies, manage calendars, play games, and browse the web (Goodwill Community Foundation, 2017).


            In their research, Bala, Sharma, & Kaur (2015), established that the Microsoft disk operating system (MS-DOS) is specifically designed for single users and processing of single tasks. Microsoft developed MS-DOS for computers compatible with IBM in 1980s. It makes use of commands such as DELETE, COPY, FORMAT, and RENAME while performing disk and file activities. DOS with windows was a layer written over DOS operating system when added a graphical user interface (GUI). The operating system simplified disk activities and added capability to multi-task (Bala, Sharma, & Kaur, 2015).

Windows 95 and 98

            Windows 95 is a multi-tasking and true 32-bit and multi-threaded operating system. The data moves in 32 bits, which increases computer speed. Users work on many documents of similar software including word processing. It has extra capabilities such as internet connecting tools, fax, email, 255-character filename (Dusseau, 2014).

Windows NT/2000/XP

            Windows NT is a true operating system and a network that provides services to many computers in an organization. It runs on many platforms, making it portable. NT has the ability to run on DEC’s Alpha and MIP’s r4000 RISC microprocessors. NT possesses various communication protocols and a centralized security system that monitors many resources in the system (Narmatha & Krishnar, 2016). A workstation version supports client desktop computers providing management functions for a network. Windows NT server supports web servers (Internet Information Server) and database server (SQL server) (Abhilash & Vasthav, 2015).


            Operating system 2, (OS/2) is a robust 32-bit operating system for personal computers manufactured by IBM. It functions similar to Windows NT. Os/2 operating system is applied in complex and memory-intensive applications that require multi-tasking, networking and mainframe operating systems. OS/2 supports major applications running under DOS and windows with a graphical user interface (Dusseau, 2014).


            Abhilash & Vasthav (2015) are of the view that UNIX operating system has great power important for solving scientific programs. It simultaneously performs similar tasks concurrently. It connects many machines together and supports networking and communications. It is applicable in minicomputers, workstations, mainframes and PCs. Unix has complex user interface (Abhilash & Vasthav, 2015). UNIX variations include IBM, ULTRIX, and Solaris from microsystems and HP/UX from Hewlett-Packard.

Mainframe computer operating systems

            Most mainframe computers have operating systems from manufacturers with specific hardware. ESA/370 and MVS/ESA are useful in larger IBM mainframe computers.


System software

            A systems software is a program controlling computer operations and devices. It starts the application programs and transfers data between different devices. It is located in the memory. An operating system is an example of a system software that coordinates communication of hardware devices (Tutorials Point, 2016). It is located in a storage device and loaded in memory after turning on the computer. It instructs the computer software and hardware how to operate. A software loads automatically after starting a computer. According to Sirpal (2010), word-processing programs, databases, and spreadsheets are examples of an application program. The tutorial points states that an operating system has various functions such as managing memory, processor, files, devices, and security of the system (Sirpal, 2010). It possesses aid to detect errors, accounting jobs, and coordinating users and software.

Application software

            In yet another argument, Sirpal (2010), is of the view that an application software is packaged, produced in masses, copyrighted and meets many users. The custom software is useful in specific applications. The shareware has a trial period allowing users to pay later. The freeware is a copyrighted software that is free to users. The public domain application software is free and not copyrighted (Sirpal, 2010). An application software uses computer power to allow users solve scientific and business problems. Application software performs specific tasks. They include communication software, web page designer, multimedia, and graphics.

            Types of Application software

Application software includes word processing applications such as Lotus word pro, Microsoft word, and word perfect. The spreadsheets include Lotus 123 and Microsoft excel. The database applications include Microsoft access and Lotus Approach. The payroll uses sage software; presentation tools include Microsoft power point and Lotus Frelance (Sirpal, 2010). Desktop publishing application includes the Adobe Photoshop. Multimedia applications include Microsoft Encarta and CD-ROM based encyclopedias. Companies develop own software or buy outside their company. The off-the-shelf software can be modified (Farahmand, 2005).

Proprietary application software

A proprietary application software solves business problems. Programmers build it in-house and contract it to outside software Development Company (Farahmand, 2005). It is not possible to duplicate the proprietary software.

Personal application software

            Personal application software includes general-purpose programs such as spreadsheet, graphics, desktop publishing, project management, financial management, fax, web browser, and computer aided designs (Farahmand, 2005).

            Work group application software (groupware)

            Group ware offers functions and services supporting collaborative activities belonging to work groups. Groupware software share information, is involved in scheduling, electronic meeting, emailing and connecting to the network. Lotus notes is a groupware enabling companies to use software, user interface and integrate business functions (Tutorials point, 2016). A groupware enables global teams to work on shared sets of documents and have threaded discussions.

            Enterprise application software

            An enterprise application software works best for the entire organization such as in a fast-food chain, ordering and distributing programs. It is an integrated software supporting the management of the supply chain. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software includes a set of integrated programs managing important business operations in a global firm. ERP applies in many currencies, languages, and legal entities. The leading ERP software includes SAP, PeopleSoft, and Oracle (Tutorials Point, 2016).

Note taking software

            A note taking software includes a MS OneNote and a Tablet PC. The software uses a digital pen to recognize a handwriting. It is also involved in audio recording.

Spreadsheet software

            A spreadsheet software manipulates data and allows organization of data in the worksheet. The cells include the numbers, formulas, and labels. There are functions of predefined formulas such as MIN, MAX, AVG, and SUM. ‘What if’ analysis changes the value that identifies effects (Tutorials Point, 2016)? The macro has sequential keystrokes and an application for recalculation.

Database software

            A database is a collection of data organized and accessed easily. It is possible to save and manipulate it. A database management software (DBMS) has the ability to sort, create forms among others. There are different types of data accepted in each field such as currency, date, long text, hyperlink, and object. Users manipulate data in ways such as sorting and providing queries. A project management software plans, and, schedules resources and events. An accounting software keeps records about financial transactions (Tutorials Point, 2016).


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Dusseau, A. (2014). Introduction to Operating Systems. Operating Systems, 2 (1), 1-18.

Farahmand, F. (2005). Type of Software. Lecture 4.Chapter 3, 1-4.

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Narmatha, M., & Krishnar, S. (2016).Study On Android Operating System and Its Versions.        International Journal of Scientific Engineering and Applied Science (IJSEASE), 2(2), 1-          7.

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