Computer hardware is of little use without computer software: hardware without software is like a CD player without compact disks. However, the hardware of a computer system requires different types of software - called programs - to operate. First, it needs programs that will control all the hardware units to link together so that they act as a whole, and enable the user to interact with the computer. The software to operate and control the hardware is called the operating system or operating system software. Second, it needs programs to perform a specific task, such as enable the user to send an e-mail message, or create a balance account using a spreadsheet. These programs are called application programs, or application software. Application and system programs are collectively known as software.
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