Software Examples: The 3 Digital Tools to Know (2023)

By Tibor Moes / Updated: June 2023

Software Examples: The 3 Digital Tools to Know (2023)<br />

Software Examples

Remember playing with Lego as a kid? You’d get those colorful blocks and the manual, and you’d start creating castles, cars, or maybe even a spaceship. Software is like those Legos. Each piece of code is a block, and when stacked together in the right way, they form functional, interactive systems that power our digital world.


Software is a collection of instructions and data that tell a computer how to perform specific tasks. It can range from simple applications, like note-taking apps, to complex systems, like operating systems or video games.

Example 1:  IBM’s System/360 (1964). Revolutionizing the computer industry, IBM’s System/360 was one of the first mainframe computing systems. It allowed businesses to perform large-scale computations and transactions. This software marked a pivotal moment in the evolution of business technology

Example 2: Microsoft Windows 95 (1995). A game-changer in personal computing, Windows 95 was the first operating system to feature a taskbar, start menu, and desktop, a design that has heavily influenced subsequent versions of Windows. It marked the transition from a primarily text-based OS to a graphical user interface.

Example 3: Google’s TensorFlow (2015). An open-source software library for machine learning, TensorFlow has had a profound impact on AI development. It allows researchers and developers to build and run complex neural networks, contributing to advancements in fields like natural language processing, autonomous driving, and computer vision.

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Software Examples In-Depth

IBM’s System/360 (1964): The Dawn of a New Era

Imagine setting foot on the moon for the first time. You’re Neil Armstrong, about to utter the famous words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Now, substitute this monumental moment in space exploration with a similar giant leap in the world of computers. In the middle of the 20th century, IBM’s System/360 emerged as that giant leap, bringing about a revolution in computing power.

Think of IBM’s System/360 as the ‘moon landing’ of the computer world. Just as the moon landing was a monumental feat in space travel, so was the creation of System/360 in the realm of computing. This mainframe computer system was a game-changer in its time, a trailblazer that ushered in a new era of computing.

Before the System/360, computers were tailor-made, custom-built for specific tasks. They were like a chef’s knife – great for chopping vegetables but not so much for hammering a nail. However, IBM’s System/360 was more like a Swiss Army knife. It was designed to handle a broad spectrum of applications, from scientific calculations to commercial transactions, all on the same system. It was the first major computing system that was scalable, meaning you could upgrade it or add more components as needed, just like adding more tools to your Swiss Army knife.

The System/360 was the heart of many businesses during the mid-20th century. It played a vital role in operations, much like how a heart pumps blood throughout the body. It wasn’t just crunching numbers or doing simple tasks; it was helping businesses manage large amounts of data and transactions. It was as if businesses had gone from riding a bicycle to driving a sports car, accelerating their data processing capabilities.

But the System/360’s influence extended far beyond the businesses that used it. IBM’s innovation set the stage for the future of the computing world. Just as the moon landing inspired countless people to dream of space exploration, so too did the System/360 ignite the imaginations of countless engineers and software developers. It was the blueprint for future computer systems, showing the potential of what computers could be capable of.

In summary, IBM’s System/360 was the Neil Armstrong of computer systems – pioneering, inspiring, and truly one of a kind. Its development wasn’t just a step, but a giant leap for computer kind. And just like the moon landing, it has left an enduring legacy that still influences the computers and software of today.

Microsoft Windows 95 (1995): Unleashing the Power of Personal Computing

Think back to a time when the Internet was a budding idea, a time when sending an email felt like launching a rocket into the cyberspace. Now, imagine this digital era as a sprawling city, waiting to be discovered. Microsoft Windows 95 was the key to the city. It didn’t just unlock the city gates; it paved the roads, put up the signs, and turned on the streetlights.

Windows 95 was like the compass for an explorer venturing into this digital city. It introduced a whole new world of personal computing to the public, featuring user-friendly icons, folders, and a taskbar to navigate the digital terrain. It was as if users had been given a digital map to navigate this city, transforming the once daunting world of computing into a familiar and accessible experience.

Before Windows 95, computers were like a complicated maze; navigating them required specialized knowledge, akin to knowing a secret handshake. But with the introduction of the Start Menu, a taskbar, and a desktop, Windows 95 turned the maze into a well-organized park. It created a graphical user interface – a point-and-click environment – that even a novice could understand and navigate with ease.

Consider a scene from a spy movie where the protagonist cracks a complex code to unlock a vault. That’s how it felt when Windows 95 arrived – it cracked the code of personal computing. It made computing accessible and intuitive to everyone, not just tech wizards.

Windows 95 also served as a bridge to the World Wide Web, integrating Internet support for the first time. It was like building a highway from our digital city to the rest of the world, connecting users globally. Emails, chat rooms, and websites became much more accessible, marking a significant milestone in the evolution of the internet.

In essence, Windows 95 was the Rosetta Stone of personal computing, translating the complex language of computers into something everyone could understand. It changed the game by introducing features that are now standard, showing the world how enjoyable and useful personal computing could be. Just as the key to the city unlocked countless adventures for the explorer, so too did Windows 95 open up a world of possibilities for computer users around the globe.

Google’s TensorFlow (2015): The Mastermind behind AI Innovation

Imagine if you could give your computer a brain – not a simple calculator, but a thinking, learning, problem-solving brain. In the digital age, Google’s TensorFlow is the software that’s bringing us closer to this future. It’s like a digital Harry Potter, casting its magic and transforming ordinary computers into intelligent machines.

You can think of TensorFlow like a gigantic Lego set for AI development. Instead of colored bricks, it’s a collection of algorithms, libraries, and tools. Developers across the world use these building blocks to construct complex AI models, in the same way you’d use Lego blocks to build a castle or spaceship. TensorFlow allows developers to construct, train, and deploy machine learning models, turning lines of code into learning, adapting, and even ‘thinking’ applications.

Remember playing with a Mr. Potato Head toy as a child, fitting the eyes, ears, and mouth onto the potato? TensorFlow works in a similar way, but instead of creating a toy, you’re building an intricate neural network. It allows developers to fit together different layers, nodes, and functions to form an AI system. It’s like a digital puzzle, where each piece represents a different function or aspect of machine learning, and the final image is a fully operational AI.

Before TensorFlow, building an AI system was like trying to build a car from scratch, without instructions or pre-made parts. It was a complex, time-consuming, and often frustrating task. But TensorFlow simplified this process, offering pre-designed, easy-to-use tools that developers can use to build AI systems more efficiently.

TensorFlow is not just for building AI systems; it’s also for teaching them. Think back to your school days, where teachers used different methods to help you learn. TensorFlow uses a similar approach, utilizing a variety of algorithms that teach AI systems to learn from data.

In essence, TensorFlow has transformed the world of AI development much like how the printing press revolutionized the world of literature. It has democratized AI, making it accessible and manageable for developers all around the world. It’s as if we’ve been given a magical wand, enabling us to cast spells that bring AI systems to life. From self-driving cars to voice assistants, TensorFlow’s magic is powering some of the most cutting-edge innovations of the 21st century.


Software, in its myriad forms, shapes, and sizes, serves as the beating heart of our digital world. From the mainframes of yesteryears to the personal computers that sit on our desks, and even the artificial intelligence systems that are reshaping our future, software is the invisible force driving innovation. Like the master chef in a kitchen, the Lego constructor, or the symphony conductor, software weaves together complex elements into a harmonious, functional whole. Whether we’re sending an email, playing a game, or predicting weather patterns, software stands at the helm, quietly guiding our digital experiences. As we step into the future, we can only imagine the leaps and bounds software will continue to make, carrying us into new realms of possibility.

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Happy surfing!

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the most frequently asked questions.

What is the difference between software and hardware?

Hardware refers to the physical parts of a computer – like the hard drive, RAM, or processor – that you can touch and feel. In contrast, software is a set of instructions that tell the hardware what to do. It’s like a recipe that instructs a cook (the hardware) how to make a particular dish.

Why is software important?

Software is crucial because it allows us to interact with our hardware and make it perform tasks. Without software, a computer is just a box of metal and plastic. It’s the software that brings the machine to life, allowing us to create documents, surf the internet, play games, and more.

Can anyone create software?

Absolutely! Anyone with an interest in programming can create software. There are many resources available online to learn programming languages like Python, Java, or C++. Plus, many software development tools are freely available. Like any skill, it requires time and practice, but with persistence, anyone can learn to develop software.

Author: Tibor Moes

Author: Tibor Moes

Founder & Chief Editor at SoftwareLab

Tibor is a Dutch engineer and entrepreneur. He has tested security software since 2014.

Over the years, he has tested most of the best antivirus software for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, as well as many VPN providers.

He uses Norton to protect his devices, CyberGhost for his privacy, and Dashlane for his passwords.

This website is hosted on a Digital Ocean server via Cloudways and is built with DIVI on WordPress.

You can find him on LinkedIn or contact him here.

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