Posted by: wasaa | June 22, 2008

System Software


System software is responsible for controlling, integrating and managing the individual hardware components of a computer system so that other software and the users of the system see it as a functional unit without having to be concerned with the low-level details of the computer hardware.


         System software exists primarily for the computer itself, to help the computer perform specific functions.


         One major type of system software is the operating system (OS). All computers require an operating system.


         The OS tells the computer how to interact with the user and its own devices.


         Common operating systems include Windows, the Macintosh OS, OS/2, and UNIX .

System software can be further classified as:


1.Operating Systems


2.Utilities and Service Programs


What is an Operating System

         It is an extended machine

        Hides the messy details which must be performed

        Presents user with a virtual machine, easier to use


         It is a resource manager

        Each program gets time with the resource

        Each program gets space on the resource

         MS DOS

         MS windows

        Windows 3.0

        Windows 3.1

        Windows 3.11

        Windows 3.15

        Windows 95,97,

        Windows 98,2000,ME,XP,NT








Different operating systems are designed for different hardware platforms or for different functions.

Operating systems may provide different types of user interfaces such as Command Line Interface and Graphical User Interface (GUI).


Command Line Interface (CLI)

         Difficult to use

          Not user friendly

          Should have expert knowledge 


Graphical user Interface (GUI)

         Easy to handle

          User friendly

          Expert knowledge not necessary


The First OS with a GUI :

Macintosh Operating System

         The Macintosh OS supports the graphical nature of the Macintosh computer.


         The Mac OS brought the first truly graphical user interface to consumers.


         The Mac OS also brought interface conformity to the desktop. All applications running under the Mac OS, therefore, provided the same “look and feel” to the user.


The first OS made by Microsoft with a GUI

Windows 3.x

         Windows 3.0, 3.1, and 3.11 are called the Windows 3.x family.


         Windows 3.x brought a GUI and multitasking capabilities to PCs running DOS.


         Windows 3.x is an operating environment because it ran on top of DOS, which was the actual OS.

An example for service programs

These are called language translators which translate a program written in a high level language into an equivalent program which a computer can understand.


Utility programs


          Disk Cleanup

          Character Map


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