Application Software Vs System Software. Difference between Application And System Software

                Software is something that we cannot touch physically. It is a set of instructions or programs that do some specific task or work. In computers whenever we study or read about software generally two types of software comes into mind. System software and application software are the types of software and computer programs that are designed to do their tasks. In this tutorial, I try my best to explain all the basic to advance level differences between system software and application software.
Here is the difference between system software and application software.

System SoftwareApplication Software
The system software is general-purpose software that is used to run the system as per its name. The application system is specific-purpose software that is used to do some specific assigned task.
The system software is installed before using any device. It is necessary to install system software to run any system.
Application software can be installed at any time. Its installation depends upon its requirements and needs from system software.
System software's programs are written in low-level languages (language easy to understand by machine i.e 0, 1) Application software's programs are mostly written in high-level languages (languages easy to learn and code by humans)
The system software is used to manage all the things in the background like memory management, security, run applications, and other general tasks. We cannot interacts directly with system software. The application software is specific purpose software. It can perform one specific task. It interacts directly with the user.
The system software is free and independent and does not require any other software to work. The Application Software is dependant on system software. Application software does not run without system software. It needs some platform to do its task.
The System Software works as a bridge between hardware and application software The application software works according to the need of the user. Users can run application software as per their requirements.
It is difficult to write code and programs for system software because it is always written in low-level languages that are difficult to learn for humans.
So, we see fewer developers in this field as compare to application software.
Application Softwares are coded and programmed in high-level languages. Languages that are easy to learn by humans. So, it is easy to code for application software.
System software runs till we off the system. Application Software runs according to the user's will. Users can turn it on and off at any time.
System Software is smaller in size than application software. They occupy less space and they are usually faster in speed. Application Software is bigger than system software. They occupy more space and they are usually slower as compare to system software.
Types of System software are:

1_ operating systems ( used to operate systems such as Windows, Mac or Linux)

2_ language translators (There are three types of languages translators Compiler that convert high-level language to low-level language at once, Interpreter that also do same but translate code line by line and Assembler that change assembly language into low-level language)

3_ communication software(these are the type of system software used to send, transfer or receive data from one system to other)

4_ utility software(that work for system maintenance or security, examples are Antivirus, device drivers, Clipboard, Disk cleaner, and Debuggers, etc.)
Types of application software are :

1_ WordProcessing Software (that is used to write, edit, or save documents examples are Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, AppleWorks by mac,, and writer by Apache.)

2_ Spreadsheet Softwares (that are used to manage data in numbers and used mostly and accounting for financial use, Examples are Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, iWork Numbers, LibreOffice, Lotus Symphony, EtherCalc. and Zoho Sheets etc.)

3_ Database Software (these are the software that is used for storing managing and processing data in large quantity, Examples are Teradata, MySql, Oracle, IBM DB2, and Informix, etc)

4_ Graphics Softwares ( these are used for editing and designing of pictures or videos, Examples are Adobe Photoshop, CorelDRAW, Pizap, GIMP, Microsoft Publisher, and Picasa)

5_ Education Softwares (these are the software or portals made for education purposes.)

6_ Entertaining Softwares (this kind of software is used for fun and entertainment purposes such as video games, movie players, etc.

Features Of System Software:

  • General-purpose software
  • Use to run System
  • Written In Low-level language
  • Fast in speed
  • Small in size
  • Pre-Installed on system
  • Doesn’t interacts with the user
  • Complex to design
  • Difficult to write code
  • Run independently 

Features Of Application Software:

  • Specific-purpose software
  • Written In High-level language
  • Slow in speed as compared to system software
  • Use to do a single task
  • May install at any time according to need
  • Large in size
  • Interacts with the user directly
  • Easy to design
  • Easy to write code
  • Runs on system software. It doesn’t run alone.

Similarities Between System Software and Application Software:

        Both types of software (system software and application software) are set of instructions that work side by side to give benefits to users. System software can run independently but have not any benefit for the user. There is nothing to do with only system software for users like an operating system until we install some application software that meets our requirements or fulfill our tasks.
     Same on the other hand We cannot run application software alone or independently because it requires some platform to work. That’s why both the system and application software are necessary for us to accomplish our needs. 


         In this tutorial, we study a comparison between the two types of software. I try my best to collect data, summarize data, and make a clear difference between both. One is used to maintain and operate systems to communicate between hardware and other programs and the other is used to do a single specific task.
         We studied about differences and examples of both in detail. If you find some mistake then please make it clear for us and others by mentioning them in the comments section. Your comments will be appreciated. 

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