Instructions for the computer. A series of instructions that performs a particular task is called a "program." The two major categories of software are "system software" and "application software." System software is made up of control programs such as the operating system and database management system (DBMS). Application software is any program that processes data for the user (inventory, payroll, spreadsheet, word processor, etc.). See system software and application software.
A common misconception is that software is data. It is not. Software tells the hardware how to process the data.
Software is "run."
Data are "processed."
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