3.1 Software components

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The software is the information that the computer uses to get the job done. Software needs to be accessed before it can be used. There are many terms used for process of accessing software including running, executing, starting up, opening, and others. Computer programs allow users to complete tasks. A program can also be referred to as an application and the two words are used interchangeably.

An example of a system program is the Operating System: DOS, Windows 9x/Millenium/XP, O/S2, UNIX, MacOS 9.x/10.x etc. Examples of application programs are:Wordprocessors for developing documents, Spreadsheets for statistical and financial information analysis, Databases for inventory control and address book, Graphics development program, Internet Browsers (Mpzilla Firewall, Netscape, Internet Explorer), Email software etc.

In addition, any document that you create, graphic you design, sound you compose, file you make, letter you write, email you send or anything that you create on your computer is referred to as software.

All software is stored in files. Software is stored on a disk or tape whether that disk is a floppy, hard disk, CD, tape or one of the dozens of other storage devices available. There are millions of different types of software available for almost every user need. Software may be available commercially through stores, by mail order or on the Internet. It could equally be free on the internet.

Software is also available through an Open Source license which allows anyone to use the Open Source software free of charge as long as the license is maintained. If you can't find the application that you need, software development companies can custom design software for you.