Difference Between System Software and Application Software.


In this article, we are going to talk about the difference between system software and application software.

But first, let us understand what software is and then jump to the difference between both systems and applications.

Difference Between System Software and Application Software.

                             System Software                     Application Software
The system software is built on top of computer hardware. Application software is built on top of system software
The system software is built, keeping in mind the computer’s hardware requirement. Application software is built, keeping in mind the user’s requirement.
System software works according to the operating system. Application software is working according to the user’s interest.
Low-level programming is used to build system software. High-level programming is used to build application software.
Programming languages include assembly language or machine code. Programming language includes java, c, python, etc.

What is software?

Software is a set of instruction or code written in a certain programming language which instructs the computer to do a specific task.

To build software for a specific task you should know a programming language.

A programming language is a set of pre-defined terms written by humans which is understandable to computers, it is these languages which makes communication possible between humans and computer.

Once you know some programming language you can write software which can perform some task.

Now there are a lot of programming languages out there but in a broad perspective, it can be divided into two categories.

High-level programming language.

Low-level programming language.

The details of both programming languages will be discussed later in this article.

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System Software.


We can directly jump to the definition of system software and it will obviously go in vain like any other definition.

But in this article, we want to break things down at the least possible level until it makes sense and all goes back to the original definition.

So first let us understand the system.


By common definition, a system is a set of things interconnected to each other out a specific task.

Here in the tech world a system means any computing device which is capable of doing any kind of work, for example, a computer is a system, a router is a system, a refrigerator is a system even your washing machine is a system, you got the idea.

Therefore anything which has some microprocessor and some chips and all those things which are required by the motherboard is a system in itself.

But here in this article, we are more focused on computer-related system software and application software, so will stick to it.

Alright, now we know what the system is, let’s take our discussion further and see the term software, specific to the system.


As we have already discussed software from a broad perspective, let’s narrow our discussion.

All things combined on the motherboard, be it chips, IC’s microprocessors, transistors, etc.

Form a complete system, but in order to work the systems there are certain rules which need to be told to that system, and this method of telling the system is called programming language, and the rules which we follow while telling is called the syntax of programming language.

There are a lot of systems in this world so is the programming language.

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System Software whole at once.

Now we clearly understand the two-term system & software let us combined both.

Take a computer or laptop or your smartphone for reference it is a complete system, but yet it doesn’t work.

To get it done some work, you need software to tell him that hey! Listen you should do this, and this software will helps each embedded component of your motherboard to communicate with each other.

For example, you want to access the camera of your system, so you tell your system via software hey! I want to access the camera, and then all the components communicate with each other giving you access to the camera.

So you see, the system software is software that allows you to access the hardware of your device, and this system software is broadly known as the operating system because it interacts with your hardware on your behalf.

The system software is written in a low-level programming language.

Low-level programming language.

It is a programming language that is difficult for normal humans to understand and only those who are experts can understand.

It is a language that looks similar to numbers and it is near to machine understandings, these languages are translated into a machine-understandable code in a single go via an assembler.

It is a machine-dependent language. An example of machine languages is assembly code or machine code.

Application software.


We have a clear idea of system software now, and you may have been familiar now that we will break things down and understand the slightest details of this too.


Application is also written in programming language and applications are also called as software, but the main difference between application software and system software is that the language used to write these soft wares and the place where we have written this software.

By the phrase language used means, we use a high-level programming language to write this software, and the place where we write is on top of the system software.

This meaning system software is written directly on the system’s hardware and application software is written directly on the above system software and not on the system’s hardware.

Application software resides on system software and it is this software with which users interact directly, and this application software then interacts with system software, which then interacts with hardware.

Application Software whole at once.

Application software is used by the user to carry out complicated tasks of the system which could not be used by the normal user except a professional or skilled one.

Let us understand application software with an example.

Suppose you want to access, the camera of the system which is a complicated task, so a skilled person writes a system software to access the camera.

And some other skilled person writes application software and then joins the application software to the system software, which makes a common man to access camera viable.

Now, this application software is written in a high-level programming language.

High-level programming language.

It is a programming language that uses English alphabets more rather than numbers, and with quite a few practices, you can easily write software.

These languages are close to the user’s understanding and far from machine understanding.

This language first gets compiled by the compiler and gets converted into byte code that is assembly level language, and then by the assembler, it gets converted to machine level language.


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