Categories of applications software explained

For years people understood the term software to refer to computer instructions, programs or data. Basically, anything that could be stored electronically on your computer is considered software. Traditionally, software has been divided into two different categories: systems software and applications software. However, in addition to those, an entire new batch of wares has entered the computer vernacular in recent years.

Systems Software

System software, as the diagram above illustrates, sits directly on top of your computer's hardware components (also referred to as its bare metal). It includes the range of software you would install to your system that enables it to function. This includes the operating system, drivers for your hardware devices, linkers and debuggers. Systems software can also be used for managing computer resources. Systems software is designed to be used by the computer system itself, not human users.

Applications Software

Unlike systems software, applications software is designed to be used by end-users. Applications software, in essence, sits on top of system software, as it is unable to run without the operating system and other utilities. Applications software includes things like database programs, word processors and spreadsheets, e-mail applications, computer games, graphics programs and such. Generally, people will refer to applications software as software.

All the Other 'Ware Terminology

Today we find new terms created frequently to classify types of applications software. You have classifications based on usage, for example games or accounting software, office applications,and other categories where the category is derived based on the main use of the software. Unfortunately, we also have a newer group of software related terms that have a negative association. Whileethe applications software itself may be useful, , it may also carry hidden programs or utilities that may cause undesirable effects.


We have a whole selection of software that may come bundled under the name of malware. Short for malicious software, malware is any software that has been designed (programmed) specifically to damage or disrupt a computer system. The most common forms of malware are computer viruses, worms, and Trojan horses.

Other common types of software is adware and spyware. Adware is considered a legitmate alternative offered to consumers who don't wish to pay for software. Today we have a growing number of software developers who offer their goods as "sponsored" freeware until you pay to register. Generally most or all features of the software are enabled but you will be viewing sponsored advertisements while the software is being used. If you're using legitimate adware, when you stop running the software, the ads should disappear, and you always have the option of disabling the ads by purchasing a registration key.

Unfortunately some applications that contain adware track your Internet surfing habits in order to serve ads related to you. When the adware becomes intrusive like this, then we move it into the spyware category and it then becomes something you should avoid for privacy and security reasons. Spyware works like adware, but is usually a separate program that is installed unknowingly when you install another application. Once installed, the spyware monitors user activity on the Internet and transmits that information in the background to someone else. Spyware can also gather information about e-mail addresses and even passwords and credit card numbers. Unlike adware, spyware is considered a malicious program. For more information on spyware and adware, we recommend you check out Webopedia's "The Difference Between Adware & Spyware".


Sometimes developers will include tools and programs within software that some may view as malware, but really, it falls into the grey area between malicious software and software, hence the name greyware. Greyware is the term used to categorize all other malicious or annoying software such as adware, spyware, trackware, and other malicious code and malicious software fall under.

In addition to these types of software, there are more terms to describe software that is distributed with common tools and utilities that don't necessarily cause harm to your computer or are a security risk. Some of these terms are slang terms used to describe unwanted features found in applications software.

Freeware is copyrighted software given away for free by the author. The author retains the copyright, which means that you cannot do anything with it that is not expressly allowed by the author. Usually, the author allows people to use the software, but not sell it.

Shareware is software that distributed on the basis of an honor system. Most shareware is delivered free of charge, but the author usually requests that you pay a small fee if you like the program and use it regularly.

Nagware is the term given to software that routinely issues a pop-up window or other form of visual interface asking the user to register a product, purchase an application or take another form of action.

Bloatware is a slang term given to software that has so many features that it requires considerable disk space and memory resources to run.

Abandonware is software that is no longer being sold or supported by its publisher.

Considered a type of adware, slimeware is the slang term used to describe software that interferes with the user experience by changing key settings in order to gain profit. For example, slimeware may change your Internet browser default home page to one where you view a company's banner ad or products for sale.

Software that is remotely accessed online usually with a Web browser, is called webware (although its more formal names are Web applications or online software.

Lastly, there's warez which is a term that has been around for quite some time. Pronounced wayrz or wayrss, it is the name given to commercial systems software or applications software that has been pirated and made available to the public via a BBS or the Internet. Typically, those who pirate software, often called crackers, have figured out a way to de-activate the copy protection or registration scheme used by the software. The use and distribution of warez software is illegal.


Read the text and compare your ideas with information given. Make use of the the vocabulary you may need to understand the text.

mankind [mæn'kaɪnd] (n) 1)

['mænkaɪnd] 2)

magnitude ['mæɡnɪtju:d] (n) 1) , ,


outweigh [̗aυt'weɪ] (v)

wealth [welθ] (n)

target ['tɑ:ɡɪt] (n)

advent ['ædvent] (n) ,

available [ə'veɪləbl] (adj)

entertainment [̗entə'teɪnmənt] (n)

numerous ['nju:mǝrəs] (adj)

theft [θeft] (n)

obstruct [əb'strʌkt] (v) ,

prone (adj)


The Internet has been perhaps the most outstanding innovation in the field of communication in the history of mankind. As with every single innovation, the Internet has its own advantages and disadvantages. But usually, greater magnitude of advantages outweighs its disadvantages.

Today the Internet has brought a globe in a single room. Right from news across the corner of the world, wealth of information to shopping, purchasing the tickets of your favourite movie.



The main target of the Internet has always been the communication. By the advent of the Internet, our earth has become a global village. Now we can communicate with a person who is sitting in the other part of the world.


Information is probably the biggest advantage the Internet offers. Students and children are among the top users who surf the Internet for research. Today, it is almost required that students should use the Internet for research purpose of gathering resources.


Downloading games, visiting chat rooms or just surfing the Web are some of the entertainments. In fact, the Internet has been successfully used by people to find life long partners. When people surf the Web, there are numerous things that can be found. Music, hobbies, news and more can be found and shared on the Internet.


Many services are now provided on the Internet such as online banking, job seeking, purchasing tickets. Often these services are not available off-line or can cost you more.


It has got a really amazing and wide range of products from technology to household needs.



Theft of personal information

If you use the Internet, you may be facing danger as your personal information such as name, address, credit card number, etc. can be accessed and used by a criminal.



Spammingrefers to sending unwanted e-mails, which provide no purpose and obstruct the entire system.

Virus threat

Computers attached to the Internet are more prone to virus attacks and they can end up into crashing your whole hard disk.


This is perhaps the biggest threat related to your childrens healthy mental life.


Task 1

Before reading match the words below to make word partners.


1. global a. chat rooms

2. surf b. privacy

3. visit c. danger

4. download d. village

5. household e. needs

6. face f. disk

7. hard g. the Internet

8. respect h. games



Task 2

Now use the word partners to complete these sentences.

1. McLuhan believes that the world is rapidly becoming a ________, in which mankind is interconnected by contemporary technology, especially television and the world wide web.

2. This method will allow you to _________ without leaving any information about what browser you're using, which computer system you have.

3. Many people who ________ use them as a place to discuss their problems and get a kind of a support.

4. People of all ages visit special free sites to safely ___________ of high quality.

5. You are not computer addict, so low-powered computer is suitable for all your _________.

6. How does computer software usually react when it ________ of virus attack?

7. _____ can store anywhere from 20MB to more than 200GB.

8. Sites like Facebook must ___________. They should not tell my friends what I buy on other sites.

Task 3

Skim the text and say what the main idea of it is.

Task 4

Read the text again and give your ideas on what could help Zack to understand that Professor Butz's Web page wasn't a reliable source of information? To understand the text better use the vocabulary given below:

validate ['vælɪdeɪt] v

proof [pru:f] (n)

belief [bɪ'li:f] (n)

reliable [rɪ'laɪ əbl] (adj) ,

reliable information ,

reliable source

low-key (adj) 1)


Associate Professor

widespread ['waɪdspred] (adj)

erroneous [ɪ'rəυnɪəs] (adj)

typhus ['taɪfəs] (n)

fit the bill

to boot ,

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