Portal:Software
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Portal:Software

The Software Portal

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Software is a program that enables a computer to perform a specific task, as opposed to the physical components of the system (hardware). This includes application software such as a word processor, which enables a user to perform a task, and system software such as an operating system, which enables other software to run properly, by interfacing with hardware and with other software. Software also acts as an interface between the hardware like processor(s) and user(s).
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GNU Image Manipulation Program
(Pictured left: The GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP), version 2.4.3. GIMP is freely distributed software.

Application software, also known as an application or an "app", is computer software designed to help the user to perform specific tasks. Examples include enterprise software, accounting software, office suites, graphics software and media players. Many application programs deal principally with documents. Apps may be bundled with the computer and its system software, or may be published separately. Some users are satisfied with the bundled apps and need never install one.

Application software is contrasted with system software and middleware, which manage and integrate a computer's capabilities, but typically do not directly apply them in the performance of tasks that benefit the user. The system software serves the application, which in turn serves the user.

Similar relationships apply in other fields. For example, a shopping mall does not provide the merchandise a shopper is seeking, but provides space and services for retailers that serve the shopper. Rail tracks similarly support trains, allowing the trains to transport passengers.

Application software applies the power of a particular computing platform or system software to a particular purpose. Some apps such as Microsoft Office are available in versions for several different platforms; others have narrower requirements and are thus called, for example, a geography application for Windows or an Android application for education or Linux gaming. Sometimes a new and popular application arises which only runs on one platform, increasing the desirability of that platform. This is called a killer application.


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Timeline of Google Earth and KML
Credit: Gjmathews1

Google Earth is a free-of-charge, downloadable virtual globe program. It maps the earth by superimposing images obtained from satellite imagery, aerial photography and GIS over a 3D globe.

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Rms ifi large.jpg
Richard Matthew Stallman (born March 16, 1954), often shortened to rms is an American software freedom activist and computer programmer. In September 1983, he launched the GNU Project to create a free Unix-like operating system, and he has been the project's lead architect and organizer. With the launch of the GNU Project, he initiated the free software movement; in October 1985 he founded the Free Software Foundation.

Stallman pioneered the concept of copyleft, and he is the main author of several copyleft licenses including the GNU General Public License, the most widely used free software license. Since the mid-1990s, Stallman has spent most of his time advocating for free software, as well as campaigning against software patents, digital rights management, and what he sees as excessive extension of copyright laws. Stallman has also developed a number of pieces of widely used software, including the original Emacs, the GNU Compiler Collection, the GNU Debugger, and various tools in the GNU coreutils. He co-founded the League for Programming Freedom in 1989.


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" A solid working knowledge of productivity software and other IT tools has become a basic foundation for success in virtually any career. Beyond that, however, I don't think you can overemphasise the importance of having a good background in maths and science. "


Bill Gates, "Bill Gates: The skills you need to succeed". BBC News. 14 December 2007. 

Did you know

...that BIOS software is built into personal computers, and is a type of system software?

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  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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