The Software is divided into system software and application software and has a lot of difference between system software and application software. The system software acts as an interface between the application software and the hardware component of the computer.
On the other hand, application software serves as an interface between the user and the system software.
We can differentiate system software and application software based on the purpose, operating, design, and dependency on each other. The system software is designed to manage system resources and provides a platform to run application software.
On the other hand, application software is designed to allow users to perform their specific tasks as per the need.
In the post, you will know the meaning and difference between system software and application software.
System Software vs Application Software
1. System Software – What is it?
The system software is software on a computer designed to control, integrate, and manage the individual hardware components of a computer system. There are two main types of system software operating systems and software installed along with the operating system, often called utility software.
Operating systems and utility software usually depend on each other to function correctly. System software includes programs dedicated to managing the computer itself, such as operating systems, file management utilities, and disk operating systems.
The system software is used to control and coordinate computer hardware, and it provides an environment to execute application software.
The system software starts running and manages all the system’s resources and runs until the system is shut down. These software programs are written in low-level languages to interact with hardware at a fundamental level.
System software creates an interface between the system and the user’s hardware. It also acts as an interface between application software and hardware.
The system software is general-purpose software and is required for computer work. Typically, the end-user does not commune directly with the system software.
Let’s talk about examples of system software. It includes an operating system (OS), BIOS, device firmware, some system utility software that helps configure, optimize and maintain the computer, programming software such as assemblers, debuggers, and compilers, etc.
The OS manages and controls the resources of the system. It handles memory management, process management, security, and system security, including application programs and other system software.
2. Application Software – What is it?
In computing, application software or application programs are the set of computer programs generally installed in the user’s computer system and designed to perform a specific task. The above software system provides a platform for such application software for functioning.
In other words: all those programs that do not have to do with the operation of the computer, but that we install in it to give it certain functions as a working tool like (spreadsheet, word processor, graphic design programs, etc.), leisure (audio, video games, or video players, etc.) or information (Internet browser, digital encyclopedias, etc.), among others.
It is generally a program or collection of programs used by end-users and utterly different from System Software. System Software runs in the background, while Application Software runs in the front end, and it is also visible to the users.
Also, application software is designed using a high-level language like C++, Java, .Net, etc.
“Application software is the software that connects or performs as an intermediary between the user and the computer.”
Examples of application software are MS Office, Photoshop, web browser, etc. Let’ know the difference between system software and application software based on the following comparison.
Difference Between System Software and Application Software
Basis of comparison
The system software is designed to control, integrate, and manage the individual hardware components and application software of a computer system.
Application software is the set of computer programs installed in the user's system and designed to perform a specific task.
2. Language Level
These software programs are written in low-level languages to interact with hardware at a primary level, like assembly language.
While application software is written in a high-level language like Java, .net, C++, etc.
3. Installation Purpose
It is used as general-purpose software basically for operating hardware components of the computer.
It is installed for the specific purpose as per the desired requirements of the user.
System software operates the system in the background until the shutdown of the Computer.
However, application software runs in the front end according to the user’s request.
Here, System software has no interaction with users. System Software serves as an interface between hardware and end-users.
Here, Application software is the software that connects or performs as an intermediary between the user and the computer.
6. Nature of Software
The programming of System Software is complex than application software.
While the programming of application software is more manageable as compared to system software.
System software runs independently, without depending on application software, As it provides platforms to application software.
Application software is dependent on system software because they need a platform like a system software for their functioning.
Assemblers, drivers, debuggers, and compilers are examples of system software.
Microsoft Office, Photoshop, web browser, and media player are examples of application software.
The above was the difference between system software and application software based on purpose, design, and dependency.
» Related: Difference Between LAN, MAN, and WAN
Key Differences Between System and Application Software:
- The system software is designed to manage system resources such as memory management, process management, security, etc. and also provides a platform to run application software. On the other hand, application software is designed to meet user requirements to perform desired tasks.
- The system software is mainly written in a low-level language, like assembly language. In comparison, application software is written in high-level languages like Java, .net, C ++, VB, etc.
- As soon as the system software is started, the system starts and runs until the system is shut down—the application software used by the user as per the need and the requirements.
- A system can run without application software because it doesn’t depend on it., whereas application software is dependent on such a software system for their functioning.
- The programming of system software is complicated, but application software has more straightforward programming than system software.
- The system software is general-purpose software, while application software is a specific purpose software.
- The best example of system software is the operating system, while the examples of application software are the media player, Microsoft Office, Photoshop, web browser, and, etc.