System software is
|“||[c]omputer programs that control, monitor, or facilitate use of the Information System (IS) (e.g., operating systems, programming languages, communication, input-output control, sorts, security packages and other utility-type programs). Also includes off-the-shelf application packages obtained from manufacturers and commercial vendors, such as word processing, spreadsheets, database management, graphics, and computer-aided design.||”|
The most important types of system software are:
- The BIOS and device firmware, which provide basic functionality to operate and control the hardware connected to or built into the computer.
- The operating system (prominent examples being Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux), which allows the parts of a computer to work together by performing tasks like transferring data between memory and disks or rendering output onto a display device. It also provides a platform to run high-level system software and application software.
- Utility software, which helps to analyze, configure, optimize and maintain the computer.
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