One of the primary aspects of today’s rapid computer growth is the interaction between a computer and software programs. In opposition to hardware, which is the physical devices and components that make up a computer, software is the generic term given to the intangible computer programs that are run using the hardware. This software can be extremely varied, depending on the intended use. While the most important piece of software for computer systems is the basic operating system, other applications, like word processors or free computer software games are used on a regular basis to serve the many functions of today’s modern computers.
For general PC use, the most common operating software for computer use is Windows. Available as XP, Vista, or Windows 7, most computers software is built with Windows in mind. For users that prefer an alternative to Windows, the operating system of Linux has many different builds, with Ubuntu being the most common variation. Apart from operating systems, perhaps the second most important piece of software is the computer’s internet browser. This is the program that allows a user to surf the internet and the choice of browser is a hotly debated item. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer remains the top browser in terms of usage, but such browsers as Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome are often preferred by more savvy users. For media functions, Windows Media Player, usually bundled with Windows, is a common choice that provides strong functionality.
In competition with the PC market, the Apple computing company produces computers known as Macintosh, or Macs for short. While these computers can be more expensive than their PC counterparts, many user that specialize in video or graphic functions find that Macs are more suited for these tasks. The computers software operating system is known as OSX and the most popular internet browser for Macs is called Safari, a proprietary Apple software product. Mozilla Firefox use is growing among Mac users due to its low memory usage and ability to be customized with many different extensions. One of the most popular Mac software applications is iTunes. This is a media controller which provides easy control of a user’s music and media files and is commonly used to aid in synchronization with iPods or other portable mp3 players.
In many cases, such as with free computer software games, both Windows and Mac versions are available. For both Mac and PC users, there are certain programs that are considered to be the best for specific uses. A user that must complete a specific task should be aware of the best program for dealing with the project. When dealing with graphics applications, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are widely thought to be the best software programs. Word processing and document creation are some of the most common uses for computers. A free program for all types of computers is OpenOffice. This popular choice is a great alternative to higher-priced software that can help to cut down computer and software expenses.