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Digital Literacy Computer Basics Computer Languages Software

sohee kim
sohee kim
234 Points

Can you give me more easy explanation of what is system software?

As I understand, system software is background of all the other app software. But still, what exactly the system software is? Please give me more easy details.

1 Answer

Jennifer Nordell
seal-mask
STAFF
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Jennifer Nordell
Treehouse Teacher

Hi there! System software is the platform on which your application software runs. It is the operating system software such as Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, or Android. It is responsible for allowing the application software to talk to the hardware. For instance, when you pick up your iPhone, iOS is the operating system or "system software". It supplies a user interface for you to interact with that phone. It says what happens when you touch the screen, when you shake the device, how it places a phone call. Windows/macOS has system software that allows you to use a mouse, keyboard, and monitor. It is largely responsible for giving you and your apps access to I/O or input and output. It also handles file storage and network access. These are very "low-level" functions. When I say "low-level" I mean closer to the hardware. It tells the computer how to interact with your hard drive, RAM, and network card. This kind of basic function is delegated to the operating system and not the applications that run on the system software. Imagine trying to make a game and being responsible for coding software to interact with the network card, hard drive, keyboard, mouse, etc! It would take ages. The system software makes this unnecessary and provides apps (and developers) access to those functions without coding it themselves. Without system software, there would be no way to interact with your computer.