September 5, 2017

Difference Between System Software and Application Software


Software is basically classified into two categories, System Software and Application Software. Where System Software acts as an interface between Application Software and hardware of the computer. The Application Software acts an interface between user and System Software. We can distinguish System Software and Application Software on account of the purpose of their design. The System Software is designed to manage the system resources and it also provides a platform for Application Software to run. On the other hand Application Software are designed for the users to perform their specific tasks.


Let us explore some more differences between System Software and Application Software with the help of comparison chart shown below.

Comparison Chart

COMPARISON SYSTEM SOFTWARE APPLICATION SOFTWARE
Basic System Software manages system resources and provides a platform for application software to run. Application Software, when run, perform specific tasks, they are designed for.
Language System Software is written in a low-level language, i.e. assembly language. Application Software is written in a high-level language like Java, C++, .net, VB, etc.
Run System Software starts running when the system is turned on, and runs till the system is shut down. Application Software runs as and when the user requests.
Requirement A system is unable to run without system software. Application software is even not required to run the system; it is user specific.
Purpose System Software is general-purpose. Application Software is specific-purpose.
Examples Operating system. Microsoft Office, Photoshop, Animation Software, etc.

Definition of System Software

System Software is the software that is written in a low-level language, like assembly language. The main purpose of System Software is to manage and control the resources of the system. It takes care of memory management, process management, protection and security of the system. It also provides the computing environment to the other software like Application Software.

The System Software creates an interface between the hardware of the system and the user. It makes the systems understand, the command entered by the user. It also acts as an interface between Application Software and hardware. The System Software start running when the system is turned on and manages all the resources of the system and it runs till the system is turned off.

The System Software is general purpose software and is essential for the working of the computer. Generally, the end user does not interact with the System Software directly.  The user interacts with the GUI created by System Software. The best example for the System Software is Operating System.

Definition of Application Software

Application Software is a software written in a high-level language like Java, VB, .net, etc. Application Software is user specific and is design to meet the requirements of the user. It may be a computing software, editing software, designing software, etc. That means each Application Software is designed for a specific purpose.

The Application Software run on the platform created by the System Software. Application Software is an intermediary between the end user and System Software. You can install multiple Application Software on a System Software. Application Software is not essential to run a system, but it makes the system useful. The examples for Application Software are MS Office, Photoshop,  etc.

Key Differences Between System Software and Application Software
  • System Software is designed to manage the system resources like memory management, process management, protection and security, etc. and it also provides the platform for the application software to run. On the other hand, the Application Software is designed to meet the user requirements of performing specific tasks.
  • The System Software is written in a low-level language like assembly language. However, Application Software is written in a high-level language like Java, C++, .net, VB, etc.
  • The System Software starts running as the system is powered on and run till the system is powered off. The Application Software starts when the user starts it and stops when the user stops it.
  • A system can not run without the System Software whereas, the Application Software is user specific they are not required to run a system; they are meant only for the users.
  • Where the System Software is general purpose software, the Application Software is a specific purpose software.
  • The best example of System Software is Operating system whereas, the examples of Application Software is MicroSoft Office, Photoshop, etc.


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