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Aug 8 2012   1:25PM GMT

What’s the difference between software, programs and applications?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
An operating system (OS) is the ________ that, after being initially loaded into the computer by a boot program, manages all the other programs in a computer.
a. program
b. software
c. application


Answer: a. or b.

Explanation:
In a computing context, software and program are mostly synonymous. Software can be made up of more than one program, however, and if you’re talking about a product, it’s usually called software.

An operating system is like the software administrator of the computer, managing interactions between hardware and applications. It’s one type of system software, which is the software that the system uses — the user doesn’t interact with it directly.

An application (the short form of application program) is software that performs a specific function directly for the user or, in some cases, for another application program.

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