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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

System software is computer software designed to operate the computer hardware and to provide and maintain a platform for running application software.[1][2]

The most important types of system software are:

In some publications, the term system software is also used to designate software development tools (like a compiler, linker or debugger).[3]

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.[4]

Types of system software programs

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:

If system software is stored on non-volatile memory such as integrated circuits, it is usually termed firmware


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  2. ^,,sid26_gci213024,00.html
  3. ^
  4. ^ W. W. Milner, Ann Montgomery-Smith (2000). Information and Communication Technology for Intermediate Gnvq. p.126

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