Difference Between Application Software and System Software

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 31, 2022, 9:31

Software is a collection of programs that direct a computer to perform specific tasks. It is in contrast to hardware, which is the physical component of the computer system. The hardware performs functions based on the commands given by the software.

Computer software can be divided into two broad categories: system software and application software. Let us take a look at the fundamental Difference Between Application Software and System Software.

What is a System Software?

System software is a set of programs used to regulate system hardware. It acts as an interface between the system and the user. This software enables the system to understand the command given by the users.

System software is made for ordinary people and is also called general-purpose software. A graphical user interface is generally adjoined with the software to make the user's interaction easier. A system cannot function without system software.

Operating systems like Android, Linux, Microsoft Windows, etc., are examples of system software.

What is an Application Software?

Application software is software that meets the specific needs of the user. They are downloaded and installed in the system as per the user's need. Unlike system software, application software is not absolutely vital for running a system. However, they do make the system more functional.

An interesting connection between the application and system software is that the former runs on the platform provided by the latter. Hence, application software acts as an intermediary between the user and system software.

Examples of application software are Ms Office, Spreadsheet, Editing Software, Game Platform, etc.

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Difference between Application Software and System Software

Following are the major differences between application software and system software:

Key

System Software

Application Software

Inter-dependency

System software is independent and runs on its own.

Application software requires the system software to function.

Language

System software is written using a low-level language such as assembly language or machine language. Such languages are closer to the computer system.

Application software is written using high-level languages such as C++, Java, etc. High-level languages are similar to human languages and are much easier to read, write and understand.

Purpose

System software is general-purpose software. It is necessary to run the system.

Application software is a specific purpose software. Different users use different application software as per their needs. A user can also use multiple application software at the same time.

Working

System software starts working as soon as the system is switched on and stops only when switched off. It runs in the background and is not noticeable most times.

A user can run application software when required and stop running it when the work is complete. Unlike system software, it runs in the foreground.

Complexity

Programming system software is a complex task because of the low-level language used.

Managing application software is much easier in comparison

There are several differences between application software and system software that set them apart. However, an end-user requires both the software to get the most benefit from a system.

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FAQs on the Difference Between Application Software and System Software

Q.1. What is the difference between application software and system software in terms of programming language?

The Difference Between Application Software and System Software in terms of programming language is that Application software uses a high-level programming language while system software uses a low-level language.

Q.2. What is the difference between application software and system software in terms of purpose?

The difference between application software and system software in terms of purpose is that System software is general-purpose software, while application software is special-purpose software.

Q.3. What is the difference between application software and system software in terms of working?

The difference between application software and system software in terms of working is that System software works in the background, whereas application software works in the foreground.

Q.4. Despite the difference between application software and system software, is there some way in which they are related to each other?

Despite the difference between application software and system software, Application software is actually dependent on system software. System software provides the platform for it to run.