System Software

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System software is computer software designed to operate the computer hardware and to provide and maintain a platform for running application software. The most important types of system software are:

• The computer BIOS and device firmware, which provide basic functionality to operate and control the hardware connected to or built into the computer. • The operating system (prominent examples being Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux), which allows the parts of a computer to work together by performing tasks like transferring data between memory and disks or rendering output onto a display device. It also provides a platform to run high-level system software and application software. • Utility software, which helps to analyze, configure, optimize and maintain the computer. System software is usually not what a user would buy a computer for - instead, it can be seen as the basics of a computer which come built-in or pre-installed. In contrast to system software, software that allows users to do things like create text documents, play games, listen to music, or surf the web is called application software. Types of system software

System software helps use the operating system and computer system. It includes diagnostic tools, compilers, servers, windowing systems, utilities, language translator, data communication programs, data management programs and more. The purpose of system software is to insulate the applications programmer as much as possible from the details of the particular computer complex being used, especially memory and other hardware features, and such accessory devices as communications, printers, readers, displays, keyboards, etc. Specific kinds of system software include: Loaders, Linkers, Utility software, Desktop, environment / Graphical user interface, Shells, BIOS, Hypervisors, Boot loaders If system software is stored on non-volatile memory such as integrated circuits, it is usually termed firmware. References

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