Computer software is any set of programs that directs a computer to do a particular job. Specifically, the system software is the one that consists of operative programs required to control computer hardware and to execute application software. In this article, we will discuss the 4 types of system software.
What are the different types of system software?
There are four types of system software:
- Operating System
- Device Drivers
- Utility Software
- Language Processors/Translators
However, two types of system software are always required to run a computer system, i.e., operating system and device drivers.
Let’s discuss the four types of system software one by one.
It manages a computer system’s hardware and software resources, such as CPU, storage, and input/output devices. Windows, Linux, Mac OS, and Android are commonly used operating systems.
- Allocates system resources
- Loads and executes application software
- Provides user interface
- Manages files by maintaining a proper file and folder system
- Controls the operation of all the input and output devices
- Manages and oversees the storage resources
- Maintains security
- Controls network operations
What type of system software manages memory?
An operating system is the only one of four types of system software that manages memory. Moreover, it handles and controls the storage devices.
Microsoft Windows (commonly referred to as Windows) is a group of several proprietary graphical operating system families. Windows has been developed and marketed by Microsoft, as evident by the name.
Bill Gates’s IT company, Microsoft, introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985, as a graphical operating system shell for MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs). Moreover, MS Windows came to dominate the world’s PC market with over 90% market share. It overtook the market share of Mac OS, which Apple introduced in 1984.
Device manufacturers provide device drivers. These types of system software control the operation of hardware devices. When we attach any device, such as a printer, scanner, digital camera, or network card, to a computer system, it will not work without a device driver. First, we must install the device’s driver on our computer before using it. Some devices, like a mouse, keyboard, monitor, USB flash drive, etc., are “Plug n Play” devices. Their software is preinstalled with Windows. When attached, the computer system automatically recognizes them.
Utility software or utilities provide additional facilities to carry out tasks beyond the operating system’s capabilities. A few essential utilities are disk cleaner, disk defragmenter, file compression utilities, antivirus utility, file manager, network utilities, and configured hardware devices.
Disk Cleanup is a typical utility software. Microsoft introduced it with the release of Windows 98. They then included it in all subsequent releases of Windows. It enables users to remove the files safely that a computer no longer needs. A computer user must remove unnecessary files, i.e., the temporary files, as it speeds up the processing and improves the performance of the hard drive and computer. Therefore, a user should run Disk Cleanup at least once a month for excellent maintenance and frequency.
Disk Cleanup can also delete temporary Internet files (associated with Web browsers such as Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc.), downloaded program files, and offline webpages. This utility also allows you to empty the Recycle Bin, delete temporary files, and delete thumbnails.
Language Processors or Translators
The computer can only understand machine language, consisting of 0s and 1s. Therefore, any program written in assembly or higher-level language must be translated to machine language for execution by the computer. Therefore, programmers use language processors to translate their programs into machine language. The types of language processors are assembler, compiler, and interpreter.
It is system software that translates assembly language programs into machine language. Assembly language consists of symbolic abbreviations, which we call mnemonics. These must be translated into machine language before execution by the computer. Therefore, each computer has its assembly language.
A compiler is a software that translates a program written in a higher-level language into machine language. It converts the entire program into machine language before the computer executes it.
An interpreter is also a language processor, translating a high-level language into machine language. But it translates one instruction at a time and executes it immediately before translating the next instruction.