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St. Francis' Convent School

Holiday Homework - Class IX

What's the difference between System software and Application software?


System Software consists of the basic softwares needed for working of different important parts like the drivers and they are not easily accessible to anyone.
Application softwares are those which are used by us for some work and depend on the presence of System Software for its working. Also it is easily accessible for all.
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      System software is the software that starts, controls and shuts down the computer hardware and makes it function.  The system software make available the computer hardware environment to the programmers or to the maintenance personnel.

     System software is of two types  Operating system software and utilities software.  Unix, Linux, MS Windows are operating system softwares.  Anti virus software, task manager, network monitoring tool (control panel), back up software etc. are utilities softwares.  Further compute language developers use compilers and interpreter softwares to run their programs like C, C++ or Java.  These softwares are also system softwares.  The user programs in these computer languages are application programs/software.

    The system softwares help the system administrators to control the computer,   monitor the use of computer by the user, and also repair/maintain the computer hardware and system software.

     In contrast, the application software is the software package that an end user uses for his purpose.  They are like  Word - a text editor,  a game, web browser like firefox, google chrome etc.  The application softwares are those like e-seva service, e-governance softwares etc.

    The language and utilities associated with the system software may be GUI based or command based.  They are special purpose and usually written specific to a type of hardware.  They are to be rewritten or recompiled for other computer hardware platforms.

    Application softwares are developed by application programmers.  The application software runs on any computer and usually any operating system.  It can be easily adapted to an operating system.  System software cannot be easily adapted to another operating system.

    Application software is used by the end user, like a student at home, a financial analyst or a managing director of a company in his office etc.  System software is used by the programmers, maintenance and trouble shooting department personnel.

   An application software is usually graphical user interface oriented and easy to use. There is usually little or some training needed to use it.   A system software needs a user to be specifically trained and it takes a long time to be comfortable to use that.

   An application user has to login into the computer first and then login in to the application software to be able to use the application.  A system software person works directly with the user id on the operating system.

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