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
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
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.