The different types of software

I. Foreword

“Software”, what is software? A priori simple, this question nevertheless says a lot about the exact meaning of this term. Because for many, software comes down to a CD, a file, a window or even a video game. Kinds of icons on which you double click to get what you want, software is much more than what characterizes it. Making up all the programs and procedures necessary for the operation of a computer system, software is essential to us. They are the ones who make this tool accessible and usable to us.

II. What is software?

In a computer system, there are two parts: the hardware part represented by the computer and its peripherals and the intangible part represented by the software. From the user’s point of view, software is an application that meets one of his needs (word processing, drawing program, game, etc.). It is a series of small instructions invisible to the user, which forms a coherent whole. These programs need an operating system to function. The operating system (Windows, Linux, etc.) provides access to the resources of the machine (CD-ROMs’ reader, screen, keyboard, etc.). It is also the operating system which is responsible for executing the instructions of the program constituting the software. Software instructions are written in a language the computer can understand, binary language (0 or 1). Using this language and to meet the needs of the user, the software contains a series of instructions which describe in detail the algorithms. Instructions are written in a form that is easy to read for a human, and executable by the computing device through software called an interpreter. To make these instructions understandable, this particular application converts binary language into language suitable for us humans. Software can contain various files, such as images, sounds, texts, or documents. These files can be used by the software, for example displayed as an icon on the graphical interface, or made available to the user as a help, as a template, or as an example. . Today, we are talking about Folio3 sheep record keeping software, which is generally installed by the manufacturers. As these devices are each intended for an application, the software associated with them is basic software and application software, the two roles being inseparable.

III. The different software

There are 3 main types of computer software, whatever the operating system of your computer (GNU / Linux, Windows or Mac).

Proprietary and paid

Software Free software Free

Software

1) Proprietary and paid

software This software manufactured by software companies is sold to the user when purchasing his computer, in a box in specialized stores or on the Internet .But beware, what is sold is not the user’s property right to the software but only a right of use, it is a user license. Example: The Windows operating system is of this type. It is not possible to keep Windows to yourself when selling your old computer, and it is not possible to resell it separately from the machine. First pitfall therefore, the simple user license, second, the software is under copyright (= the source code of the software is closed and protected), it is not possible for a user whatever his level of computer skills to modify the software for its needs or to add new potentialities. Only the company holding the ownership license has this right, hence the commercial genesis of countless paid updates. The price of user licenses can be greatly increased depending on whether the user license concerns 1 or more networked workstations or not.

2) Shareware

Very often paid software is shareware. These consist for an author to put into free circulation a complete version of his software in order to allow the public to test it without committing financially. We can assimilate this mode of distribution to a period of “free trial”, during which the author offers you the opportunity to evaluate software in the most obvious and efficient way possible: by using it in your usual work context. Freely downloadable, shareware is not necessarily free. Indeed, a moral contract binds its author to whoever installs the software. It stipulates that the shareware user must, if he wishes to use the product and even keep it on his computer at the end of the evaluation period, pay the price of the operating license. In short: once the thirty days of shareware trial have elapsed, it will be necessary to proceed to the cash register if one wishes to keep the usufruct. Otherwise we will have to put the software back on its shelves, in other words, uninstall it, if for any reason whatsoever, we do not wish to acquire it.However, it will be noted that the authors of shareware, in order to remedy abuses, whether voluntary or not, are also increasingly taking care to deactivate certain features of their software to encourage the public to pay them. The purpose of this type of application is to gently entice the customer by providing them with insight into the capabilities of the software. But just a preview because many of its features will be restricted. So, for example, with the demo version of the famous Photoshop you won’t be able to print, save, or even copy and paste. It goes without saying that downloading a demo does not commit you to anything since you will not be able to really use the software! 2) Free software (freeware) these software produced by software companies or isolated authors are free to the user who can obtain them on the Internet by download or in store CD-ROMs at newspaper kiosks. It is possible to make copies and circulate them between users. The source code is not modifiable, which implies that the software evolves only if its author makes it evolve. This type of software is most often very efficient because the companies or the authors who manufacture them aim to make them known as quickly as possible to users; it is a “business card”. Free access is quite often transient, from 6 months to 12 months in general, once the software is well established, it most often becomes paid and proprietary in these new versions Example: The Star Office 5.2 office suite is of this type. It is free and will remain so, but the improvements of this office automation suite competing with the Microsoft Office 2000 pack are not free and it has become necessary to purchase Star Office 6 to benefit from them. The Sun Company is now trying to make profitable the means implemented around free software and the release of certain parts of the source code of its office automation suite.

3) Free software

Free software is based on a very different logic; the objective of free software is the guarantee of the user’s freedom in his use of software. These software produced by software companies or isolated authors are almost always free to the user who can obtain them on the Internet by download or in store CD-ROMs at newspaper stands. It is possible to make copies and circulate them between users. The great strength of free software is not that it is free, but the fact that its source code is open and can be legally modified if you have the skills or if you know someone who can do it for you. It is then possible to share your modifications / improvements with all users of this software, the small business logo design NZ is collaborative and it often takes place via the Internet.

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