Difference Between System Software and Application Software

By Priyanshu Vaish|Updated : April 28th, 2022

Difference Between System Software and Application Software: These two are the different types of software but both system software and application software are entirely different from each other based on their functioning, purpose and design. Here, we will discuss the difference between system software and application software in the sections below. A system software acts as the interface between the application software and the system.

The various operating systems are the best example of this kind of software, as it allows the user to download and work with multiple applications on their device. On the other hand, application software is designed for users. Therefore, the applications can be added to system software. For example, a notepad is an application of MS-Window which is system software. Here we will first explore what is system software and application software in brief and then we will discuss the difference between system software and application software on various parameters.

Table of Content

What is a System Software?

Before knowing the difference between system software and application software, let us discuss system Software. System software provides essential functionality to the computer. System software is required for the working of the computer itself. The computer user does not need to be aware of the functioning of system software while using the computer.

For example, when you buy a computer, the system software would also include different device drivers.

The purpose of system software is to control computer hardware, provide essential functionality to computers, and act as an interface between the application software, user, and computer hardware.

What is an Application Software?

Application software may be a set of programs or a single program. A software package is a collection/group of programs written for a specific purpose and provides the required functionality. It is used by the user to accomplish a specific task.

Application software is written for different types of applications like word processors, media players, database applications, accounting purposes, Telecommunications, etc. Examples of the application software package are word processing, image processing, accounting, and spreadsheet software.

Difference Between System Software and Application Software

The difference between system software and application software is based on installation, execution, interaction, etc. The table mentioned below shows the vital differences between these two. 

Difference Between System Software and Application Software 

System Software

Application Software

System software is used for operating the computer hardware. 

The user uses application software to perform a specific task. 

System software is installed on the computer when the operating system is installed. 

Application software is installed according to user requirements. 

System software provides the platform for running application software. 

Application software cannot run without the presence of system software. 

System software works/runs independently.

At the same time, application software cannot work or run independently. 

The user does not interact with system software because it works in the background. 

In the application software, the user interacts directly. 

System software runs automatically when the computer is turned ON and STOP when the computer shutdown. 

Application software runs when the user requests it.

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FAQs

  • The difference between system software and application software is that system software is used for operating the computer hardware. On the other hand, the user uses application software to perform a specific task.

  • The difference between system software and application software is that system software run automatically when the computer is turned ON and STOP when the computer shutdown, whereas application software runs when the user requests it.

  • The difference between system software and application software is that system software is installed on the computer when the operating system is installed. In contrast, application software is installed according to user requirements.

  • The purposes of system software are to control computer hardware, provide essential functionality to computers, and act as an interface between the application software, user, and computer hardware.

  • No, the user does not interact with system software because it works in the background, whereas in the application software, the user interacts directly.

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