The System software reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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System software

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System software is a generic term referring to any computer program or library whose purpose is to help run the computer system, as opposed to application software that helps solve user problems directly.

System software is responsible for controlling, integrating, and managing the individual hardware components of a computer system.

System software performs tasks like transferring data from memory to disk, or rendering text onto a display Specific kinds of system software include loading programs, operating systems, device drivers, compilers, assemblers, linkers, and utilities.

Software libraries that perform generic functions also tend to be regarded as system software, although the dividing line is fuzzy; while a C runtime library is generally agreed to be part of the system, an OpenGL or database library is less obviously so.

System software stored on non-volatile storage on integrated circuits is usually termed firmware.

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