What is Software?

Software is a group of instructions which tell a particular computer how to perform. This is quite different from hardware, where the system basically just performs the desired work and is constructed on a chip. The difference is that with software, you don’t really need to have a chip if you want to get your system up and running. And this is one of the main differences between hardware and software – without a chip, the computer would be very difficult to build. So why do we need software in order to have a computer, then?

Well, the answer is simple: to run applications. In order to browse the Internet or play online games, we would need to use some kind of programming languages. In order to operate our web browser or our email program, we will probably use another set of programming languages. And so on…

A good example of software in action is Google Chrome, which you can download for free. Google Chrome is a web browser, first of all, and it also has a lot of other features as well. But what makes it so popular is that the whole system is written in JavaScript, a kind of scripting language, which can be easily embedded into HTML documents and can produce some wonderful effects. One of these effects is the Chrome theme, which makes the browser look a bit like the Chrome website. Now this is only possible thanks to the open source application software that Google provides – which is one of the reasons why it is so popular.

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