We can define software as a set of instructions and commands to perform a certain task on a computer. The group of programs on a computer and its data are called software.
History of software
To know its origin we have to go back to the 1960s, when developers used the UNIX system; its hardware was a set of components mounted separately in different rooms.
In the mid-70s, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs created a software for the computers of the time inspired by UNIX.
A few years later, hardware companies began manufacturing computers on their own. They dominated the hardware industry, but needed a simple operating system to use and Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs had no interest in selling theirs.
That’s when Bill Gates, Paul Allen and Steve Ballmer came into play, who created software capable of adapting to any hardware that needed an operating system: Windows.
Currently, Microsoft remains the market leader in computers, although Apple is slowly gaining ground. Technology continues to evolve at leaps and bounds.
How do computer programs work?
The equipment is only capable of processing and executing binary elements, i.e. a series of zeros and ones. Therefore, computer programmers write the commands in a certain programming language and then a compiler translates them into binary so that the computers can understand them. The process is carried out as follows:
The compiler transforms the source code (*) into object code and stores it in what is called an object file. That is, it translates the source file into a binary language.
The compiler then calls the link editor to insert the additional elements referred to by the program into the final file.
And finally, an executable file is created, which contains all the elements necessary for the program to function independently.
Computer programs are simple text files, which are called source files. These source files contain a series of program lines called source code.
What kind of software are there?
We can group the programmes into three different groups.
These are all programs that users install on their computers manually: Google Chrome, Microsoft Office…
They include all programs whose main objective is to solve a particular problem: patches to update a program, back up, etc.
Those software that is underlying the operating system of the equipment.
We hope that you will now be able to better understand what software is and what it covers. If you have any questions, you can leave us a comment.