The computer is only as useful as the program or application on it. Applications can be divided into two general categories:
Business/Industry Software – Software designed for use by a specific industry or market. Examples include: medical practice management tools, educational tools and legal software.
General Use Software – Software used by a wide range of organizations and home users for various purposes. These applications can be used by any business or individual.
General use software includes integrated applications packages known as Office Suites. They usually include applications such as word processing, spreadsheet, database, presentation and email/contacts/schedule management.
Other popular applications include graphics editing software and multimedia authoring applications. These tools allow users to manipulate photos as well as create rich media presentations that use voice, video and graphics.
Local and Network Application
In addition to Business/Industry and General Use software, an application can be classified as local or networked.
Local application – A local application is a program, such as a word processor, that is stored on the hard disk of the computer. The application runs only on that computer.
Network application – A network application is one that is designed to run over a network, such as the Internet. A network application has two components, one that runs on the local computer and one that runs on a remote computer. Email is an example of a network application.
Most computers have a combination of local and network applications installed.