Computers come in many different types and sizes for many different purposes. They are fast, reliable, and can store much more data than we ever expected.
Desktop sizes are the most common but laptops are widely used as well. Tablets, smart phones, and other small sizes are becoming more and more popular.
Today's graphical interfaces make it easy to issue commands to the computer using icons, buttons, and menus.
Servers handle special tasks like email, web sites, and communication and sharing files between computers on a network. Supercomputers perform difficult calculations quickly.
Applications are the programs that we use for most of our tasks. The operating system manages the computer itself. Word processing is the most often used program in the day. The basic word processing skills of typing, selecting, moving, copying, pasting, saving, and deleting are also used in most other programs.
Spreadsheets handle numbers and calculations for data in rows and columns. Databases handle names, addresses, product information, sales records, and other material that is a combination of words and numbers that may need to be sorted or filtered. Graphics programs let you create drawings and animations or manage and enhance photos. Presentations let you show a whole room of people the main points from your speech but also images and charts that explain more than words can.
Communications software connects you to other computers around the world. Browsers connect you to web sites or web pages on your own computer. Email handles your electronic messages. HTML software lets you create your own web pages for all the world to see.
Security software keeps the bad guys from damaging or hijacking your computer for their own evil purposes. Utility software offers ways to safeguard your computer from yourself with back-up software, or just make life easier by automating a lot of the maintenance of your computer.
Integrated software puts the basics together in one package while software suites offer a price break on a collection of programs that work well together.