Productivity software This is designed to enable you to carry out your task or role accurately, effectively and effi ciently. You have no errors (or at least can edit them out), it produces the correct outcome, in line with your instructions, and you do not waste time or resources. Examples of such software include word processors, databases, email, webinars and webcasts.
Development tools These are software tools which help those who are creating new software for other purposes. This software could be a programming tool used to create, debug, enhance and maintain programs during their lifecycle. Examples are compilers, assemblers, disassemblers and debuggers. It could also be an application development tool which assists software developers to develop websites and mobile application tools.
Business software This refers to software which supports one or more business activities. Business here should be considered in its widest sense, as it includes not only project management tools, CAD/CAM design packages and management information systems (MIS) but also specialist software, such as expert systems which gather specialist information for a particular area and apply it to new problems, for example medical diagnosis.
Computers can suffer from viruses, loss of memory or slowness at some point. Utility programs are small pieces of software that can help the computer perform more effi ciently or effectively. Examples include backup facilities, which remind you to back up your data in case of hardware failure, loss or theft of the computer. The antivirus utility regularly scans the computer for evidence of malware activity or presence; it also checks for new threats and removes them to a ‘quarantine location’ where they are held until the user confi rms that they are to be deleted.
Voiceover Internet Protocol (VoIP) This method can apply to digital telephone systems, video-conferencing and teleconferencing as well as to users with a computer, microphone and speaker system. Each has a codec (coder and decoder), which can be hardware or software. This device converts analogue sound or vision to a digital signal and carries out a reverse process by decoding the signals. To send this information, extra information is required, such as the IP address of the recipient.
Personal assistants, such as Siri or Cortana, are software applications that recognise and act on voice commands. They can adapt to the user’s speech, including accents, as the interaction continues. If the software cannot understand an instruction, it asks for it to be repeated or provide a pre-programmed list of commands to aid understanding.