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Unformatted text preview: the software at this layer is designed to hide the hardware details of the system from
application programmers and to coordinate the operations of the various hardware
devices for optimizing the performance of all the devices. Surrounding the system
software is the application software layer that consists of a wide range of software that
are designed to do; specific task or solve a specific problem. The final layer is the layer of
users who normally interact with the system via the user interface provided by the
application software. Different application software usually provides different user
interfaces. Hence how a particular user interacts with the computer system depends on
whicl application he/she is using.
(Physical devices/components of the
(Software that constitute the operating and
programming environment of the computer system)
(Software that do a specific task or solve a specific problem)
(Normally interact with the system via the user interface provided by the application
Figure 10.1. Relationship among the hardware, system software, application software,
and users of a computer system.
Computer software has evolved from an item of minor economic concern with first
generation digital computer to one of major concern in today's computing systems. In the
early days of computers, more than 80% of the tots computer cost was devoted to
hardware, but today more than 80% of the cost is for software. At one time application
and system software were included in the purchase price of the computer. Today,
however, software is usually not included in the purchase price of the computer. For most
computer manufacturers the purchase price of a computer includes only the hardware
along with a minimum of system software. The customs normally has to pay extra
charges for additional system software and application software that he/she may wish 1
A desired software may be obtained today in one or more of the ways discussed below.
The relative advantage and limitations of each way of obtaining software are also
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- Spring '14