What Is System Software Used for?

By David Dunning

System software is the term used to describe the programs and files that constitute the operating system- such as Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX or Linux--of a computer. System software is responsible for the management and control of computer hardware and basic system operation.

How System Software Works

System software is essential for human beings to interact with computers. System software operates at the most basic level of a computer, creating the user interface and relaying any command given to the computer to the CPU (Central Processing Unit.)

Operating System Tasks

An operating system is the most important piece of software that runs on a computer because without it other programs cannot run. Operating system tasks include recognizing input from the keyboard, sending output to the display, and management of peripherals, such as hard disk drives and printers.

Types of System Software

System software includes file management tools, assemblers, compilers and debuggers, together with drivers--small programs that tell the operating system and other software applications how to interact with hardware--and other configuration files.