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System software vs. Application Software | Difference between System Software and Application Software

Software is a set of programs, procedures, and routines that instructs a computer system what to do. It is mainly of two types named as, System Software and Application Software.

System software vs. Application Software

Both the software help the computer to perform specific tasks and allow the user to interact with the system. Some may consider the two to be the same with minor differences, but they are entirely different from each other. They can be prominently differentiated from each other based on their functioning, purpose, and design. The main difference between both the software is that "System software acts as the interface between the application software and hardware of the computer system. Whereas, the application software acts as an interface between the system software and the end-user." In this topic, we will discuss the complete details about the System software and application software and key differences between them.

System software vs. Application Software

What is System Software?

System software is a set of computer programs, which is designed to manage system resources. It is a collection of such files and utility programs that are responsible for running and smooth functioning of your computer system with other hardware. Moreover, it is solely responsible for running the operating system (OS) and managing the computer device entirely, and without it, the system cannot run. It is not used for a specific task and is hence known as general-purpose software. It acts as a platform for other software to work, such as antivirus software, OS, compiler, disk formatting software, etc.

System software runs and functions internally with application software and hardware. Moreover, it works as a linking interface between a hardware device and the end-user.

System Software is usually written using Low-level language such as Assembly language. Some essential functions of System software are:

  • Disk Management
  • Memory Management
  • Device controlling
  • Loading and execution of other programs.

Features of System Software

  • These are usually written in a low-level language.
  • It is hard to manage and manipulate.
  • The operating speed of system software is very fast.
  • These are smaller in size.
  • Closer to System and hardware components.

What is Application Software

Application Software is a type of software that is mainly developed to perform a specific task as per the user's request. It acts as an interface between the end-user and system software.

Application software is not used to perform basic operations of a computer system like system software. Instead, they are installed on the the computer system to function as a working tool for the end-user.

Application software provides an interactive UI (user interface) for users to interact with it and work on it.

This software is usually developed with the help of High-level languages, such as C, C++, Java, etc. Some examples of Application software are MS Office, Paint, Spreadsheet, Web-browser, etc. Although application software is designed to perform a specific task, some standard functions of application software are given below:

  • Data Manipulation
  • Writing Reports
  • Creating Spreadsheets
  • Managing records.

Features of Application Software

  • Application software is usually written in high-level languages.
  • They are larger, hence need more storage space.
  • They are comparatively easy to build than system software and look more interactive.
  • Each application software is used to perform a specific task.

Key differences between System Software and Application Software

  • System Software is the type of software that manages the resources of a computer system and also helps the other application software to run by providing a platform to them. Whereas, Application software is the type of software that works as per the user's need.
  • Once the computer system is turned on, System software starts working immediately and turns off only when the system is turned off. At the same time, application software needs to be started by the user and stops when the user closes it.
  • System Software is the general-purpose software, which means they are not designed to do any specific task, such as Operating System that performs the various task. Whereas, Application software is designed to perform specific tasks such as Photoshop software that is used for graphic designing.
  • System software is usually made up of using low-level languages. Whereas, Application software is usually made up of using a high-level language.
  • System software is required for a computer system to run. In contrast, Application Software is not required for a computer system to run.
  • System software is already installed in the computer system with OS, whereas some application software is installed by default, and some user needs to download and install it.
  • As system software is already installed with a computer system, we are not allowed to uninstall them, whereas application software can be uninstalled easily and can also be reinstalled.
  • When the user turns on the system, system software starts working in the background and helps the computer to function smoothly. On the other hand, application software works on the front end and helps the user to perform a specific task.

Difference table between System Software and Application Software

System Software Application Software
System software is a set of computer programs that is designed to manage system resources. Application Software is a type of software that is mainly developed to perform a specific task as per the user's request.
It acts as an interface between the Application Software and Computer hardware. It acts as an interface between the end-user and System Software.
It is a general-purpose software. It is a specific-purpose software.
System software is usually installed on the computer system at the time of OS installation. Application Software is usually installed on the system as per the requirement of the user.
This software runs independently and works as a platform for working application software. This software is not capable of running independently, which means they need system software to work on.
These are usually written in low-level languages such as Assembly language. These are usually written in a high-level language such as C, C++, Java, etc.
System software work on the background, hence user don't directly interact with them. Application software work on user-interface, hence user directly interact with them.
A system software starts running as we turn on our computer system and stops when the system is turned off. Application software runs as per user request. It means when we launch them, then only they start and stop when we close them.
The development of System software is complicated and takes more time compared to application software, as they are built by considering the hardware compatibility. Development of Application software is comparatively easier and takes less time than system software.
A computer system can't run without system software. A computer system can always run without application software. However, for users, it is required to have some important application software to work on.
The working of system software is automated and starts functioning automatically after starting the computer system. The working of application software is manual, which means the user needs to start using it.
Examples of System Software are Operating systems, Compiler, Assembler, Device drivers, etc. Examples of Application Software are Web browsers, MS office, Graphic design software, etc.

Conclusion:

As per the above discussion, we can say that although both are types of Software, both are much different from each other. Both are designed in a different way, used in a different way, and also worked in a different way. System software helps the computer system to manage the resources and function smoothly, while application software is user-specific and helps the user to manage and perform their specific tasks.


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