The Difference Between System And Application Software


System software is software designed to provide a platform for other software. Examples of system software include operating systems like macOS, Linux, Android and Microsoft Windows, computational science software, game engines, industrial automation, and software as a service applications.


Application software is computing software designed to carry out a specific task other than one relating to the operation of the computer itself, typically to be used by end-users

Application software is a type of computer program that performs a specific personal, educational, and business function. Each programme is designed to assist the user with a particular process which may be related to productivity, creativity, and/or communication.

Functions of Application Software

Application software programs are created to facilitate a variety of functions, including but not limited to:

  • managing information
  • manipulating data
  • constructing visuals
  • coordinating resources
  • calculating figures

Examples of Application Software

The most common application software programs are used by millions every day and include:

  • Microsoft suite of products (Office, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc.)
  • Internet browsers like Firefox, Safari, and Chrome
  • Mobile pieces of software such as Pandora (for music appreciation), Skype (for real-time online communication), and Slack (for team collaboration)

system software

System software is a type of computer program that is designed to run a computer’s hardware and application programs. If we think of the computer system as a layered model, the system software is the interface between the hardware and user applications. The operating system is the best-known example of system software. The OS manages all the other programs in a computer.

System software is used to manage the computer itself. It runs in the background, maintaining the computer’s basic functions so users can run higher-level application software to perform certain tasks. Essentially, system software provides a platform for application software to be run on top of.

Important features of system software

Computer manufacturers usually develop the system software as an integral part of the computer. The primary responsibility of this software is to create an interface between the computer hardware they manufacture and the end user.

System software generally includes the following features:

  1. High speed. System software must be as efficient as possible to provide an effective platform for higher-level software in the computer system.
  2. Hard to manipulate. It often requires the use of a programming language, which is more difficult to use than a more intuitive user interface (UI).
  3. Written in a low-level computer language. System software must be written in a computer language the central processing unit (CPU) and other computer hardware can read.
  4. Close to the system. It connects directly to the hardware that enables the computer to run.
  5. Versatile. System software must communicate with both the specialized hardware it runs on and the higher-level application software that is usually hardware-agnostic and often has no direct connection to the hardware it runs on. System software also must support other programs that depend on it as they evolve and change.

Types of system software

System software manages the computer’s basic functions, including the disk operating system, file management utility software and operating systems.

Other examples of system software include the following:

software stack diagram
A complete picture of the software stack. System software includes the firmware through the OS levels of this model.
  • The BIOS (basic input/output system) gets the computer system started after it’s turned on and manages the data flow between the OS and attached devices, such as the hard drive, video adapter, keyboard, mouse and printer.
  • The boot program loads the OS into the computer’s main memory or random access memory (RAM).
  • An assembler takes basic computer instructions and converts them into a pattern of bits that the computer’s processor can use to perform its basic operations.
  • device driver controls a particular type of device that is attached to your computer, such as a keyboard or mouse. The driver program converts the more general I/O instructions of the OS to messages that the device type can understand.

Additionally, system software can also include system utilities, such as the disk defragmenter and System Restore, and development tools, such as compilers and debuggers.


As we know that software is a set of instructions or programs instructing a computer to do specific tasks. Software is basically a generic term used to describe computer programs. In general Scripts, applications, programs and a set of instructions are all terms often used to describe software.

Now the basis of language in which software is developed and platform which is required for its execution we can classified software as in two divisions which are System software and Application software. Following are some basic differences between System software and Application software.

Sr. No.KeySystem Software.Application Software.
1DefinitionSystem Software is the type of software which is the interface between application software and system.On other hand Application Software is the type of software which runs as per user request. It runs on the platform which is provide by system software.
2Development LanguageIn general System software are developed in low level language which is more compatible with the system hardware in order to interact with.While in case of Application software high level language is used for their development as they are developed as some specific purpose software.
3UsageSystem software is used for operating computer hardware.On other hand Application software is used by user to perform specific task.
4InstallationSystem software are installed on the computer when operating system is installed.On other hand Application software are installed according to user’s requirements.
5User interactionAs mentioned in above points system software are specific to system hardware so less or no user interaction available in case of system software.On other hand in application software user can interacts with it as user interface is available in this case.
6DependencySystem software can run independently. It provides platform for running application software.On other hand in application software can’t run independently. They can’t run without the presence of system software..
7ExamplesSome examples of system software’s are compiler, assembler, debugger, driver, etc.On other hand some examples of application software’s are word processor, web browser, media player, etc.

Drop your Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.