Your PC (Personal Computer) is a system, consisting of many components. Some of those components, like Windows XP, and all your other programs, are software. The stuff you can actually see and touch, and would likely break if you threw it out a fifth-story window, is hardware.

Not everybody has exactly the same hardware. But those of you who have a desktop system, like the example shown in Figure 1, probably have most of the components shown in that same figure. Those of you with notebook computers probably have most of the same components. Only in your case the components are all integrated into a single book-sized portable unit.

The system unit is the actual computer; everything else is called a peripheral device. Your computer’s system unit probably has at least one floppy disk drive, and one CD or DVD drive, into which you can insert floppy disks and CDs. There’s another disk drive, called the hard disk inside the system unit, as shown in Figure 2. You can’t remove that disk, or even see it. But it’s there. And everything that’s currently “in your computer” is actually stored on that hard disk. (We know this because there is no place else inside the computer where you can store information!).


Figure 2

The floppy drive and CD drive are often referred to as drives with removable media or removable drives for short, because you can remove whatever disk is currently in the drive, and replace it with another. Your computer’s hard disk can store as much information as tens of thousands of floppy disks, so don’t worry about running out of space on your hard disk any time soon. As a rule, you want to store everything you create or download on your hard disk. Use the floppy disks and CDs to send copies of files through the mail, or to make backup copies of important items.


Software refers to a list of statements or instructions arranged in a order to perform a specified task.  software can be specified into three categories

1) Application   software

2) System software

3) Driver software

4) Firmware Software

1)Application software :-

Application software is a set of programs designed to specifically to perform a special application.

Application software is a computer program that functions and is operated by means of a computer, with the purpose of supporting or improving the software user‘s work. In other words, it is the subclass of computer software that employs the capabilities of a computer directly and thoroughly to a task that the user wishes to perform. This should be contrasted with system software (infrastructure) or middleware (computer services/ processes integrators), which is involved in integrating a computer’s various capabilities, but typically does not directly apply them in the performance of tasks that benefit the user. In this context the term application refers to both the application software and its implementation.

Ex: Tally, winamp etc

2) System software:-

System software is a group of programs required to operate and control the activities of the computer  . The system software provides an environment for developing application  program.

EX: win xp, 2003, Linux  etc

3) Driver software:-

In computing, a device driver or software driver is a computer program allowing higher-level computer programs to interact with a hardware device.

A driver typically communicates with the device through the computer bus or communications subsystem to which the hardware connects. When a calling program invokes a routine in the driver, the driver issues commands to the device. Once the device sends data back to the driver, the driver may invoke routines in the original calling program. Drivers are hardware-dependent and operating-system-specific. They usually provide the interrupt handling required for any necessary asynchronous time-dependent hardware interface.

4) Firmware Software:-

Firmware means hardware + Software. The inbuilt IC software is known as Firmware software.

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