Software is composed of many programs that all together fulfill a certain task. Programs are strict instructions that tell the computer what to do. A computer is a complex machine that uses directions like programs and software to operate, without it it's useless. In other words, software brings life to a computer's hardware. More precisely, it represents what fuel is to a car.
There are two categories of software; operating systems and applications. Both of them are a necessity to one's computer. The first one is the largest program, and the most important one. This software deals with file management, memory management, provides a user interface, and manages I/O devices like printers, and disk drives. Microsoft is well known for their Windows 95, and Windows NT operating systems, two of the most popular operating system on the market because of its user-friendly features. But operating system like Unix, and Linux are more known for their stability, and good performance.
On the other hand, applications are smaller programs that fulfill a less important task. To satisfy the user's demand, programs are written accordingly. For example, a lot of word processor users have the privilege of having programs like Word to help them. Other might like spread sheets, and use programs like Excel, or Lotus1-2-3. There are also database applications like Access, or programming compilers like Borland C++. All those application are very common for personal computers. This is why companies try to sell along with a computer an operating system, and a package of highly demanded applications at the same time.
Operating system, like application is expensive. Recently, companies have been offering free version of software on the Internet for competition, or economic purposes.
Therefore two new categories of software emerged; shareware (freeware), and proprietary software. First, shareware are software programs...