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software (EN)

GC: n

CT: Software can be thought of as the variable part of a computer and hardware the invariable part. Software is often divided into application software (programs that do work users are directly interested in) and system software (which includes operating systems and any program that supports application software). The term middleware is sometimes used to describe programming that mediates between application and system software or between two different kinds of application software (for example, sending a remote work request from an application in a computer that has one kind of operating system to an application in a computer with a different operating system). An additional and difficult-to-classify category of software is the utility, which is a small useful program with limited capability. Some utilities come with operating systems. Like applications, utilities tend to be separately installable and capable of being used independently from the rest of the operating system.

S: TechT - http://searchsoa.techtarget.com/definition/software(external link) (last access: 20 December 2016)

N: 1.1851, soft wares, "woolen or cotton fabrics," also, "relatively perishable consumer goods," from soft + ware (n.). The computer sense is a separate coinage from 1960, based on hardware (mid-15c., "small metal goods," from hard (adj.) + ware (n.). In the sense of "physical components of a computer" it dates from 1947. Hardware store attested by 1789).
2. Software is something used or associated with and usually contrasted with hardware, as the entire set of programs, procedures, and related documentation associated with a system and especially a computer system; specifically : computer programs.
3. The term “software” did not come into use until 1958. It is probable that it was coined by Princeton University professor John W. Tukey in an article in The American Mathematical Monthly in January of that year (Peterson, 2000).
4. There are two main types of software:
  • systems software : Systems software helps run and maintain the computer. It includes the operating system, drivers and utility software.
  • applications software : Applications software is used to carry out tasks on a computer, such as writing an email, making a poster, doing homework and messaging friends. Some of the applications we might use to do this include a word processor, web browser and graphics software.
5. The term software is considered as the opposite of the term Hardware, which describes the physical aspects of computers and related devices.

S: 1. OED - https://goo.gl/LFc99j(external link) (last access: 20 December 2016). 2. MW - https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/software(external link) (last access: 20 December 2016). 3. CM - http://www.thecorememory.com/SHOS.pdf(external link) (last access: 20 December 2016). 4. BBC - https://goo.gl/rxo6QL(external link) (last access: 20 December 2016). 5. TechT - https://goo.gl/dI2yQ(external link) (last access: 20 December 2016)

SYN:
S:

CR: antivirus (EN), computer science, ELIZA, interface, Internet (EN), malware, spyware, Trojan horse, web browser.



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