Monday, September 29, 2008

APPLICATION SOFTWARE vs SYSTEM SOFTWARE

What is Software?
Software, also called a program, is a series of instructions that tells the computer what to do and how to do it. Software today often has a graphical user interface which is graphical user interface (GUI) that can interact with the software using text, graphics, and visual image such as icons.
An icon is a miniature image that represents a program, an instruction, or some other object. There are two categories of software that are system software and application software.

System Software vs Application Software

System Software consists of the programs that control or maintain the operations of the computer and its devices. System software serves as the interface between the user, the application software, and the computers hardware.
System software is any computer software which manages and controls computer hardware so that application software can perform a task. Operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X or Linux, are prominent examples of system software. System software contrasts with application software, which are programs that enable the end-user to perform specific, productive tasks, such as word processing or image manipulation.

System software performs tasks like transferring data from memory to disk, or rendering text onto a display device. Specific kinds of system software include loading programs, Operating systems, device drivers, programming tools, compilers, assemblers, linkers, and utility software.
System Software can be classified as operating system and language processors. Operating system creates an interface between user and the system hardware. The example of language processors are assemblers, Compilers and interpreters.

Application software is a subclass of computer software that employs the capabilities of a computer directly and thoroughly to a task that the user wishes to perform. This should be contrasted with system software which is involved in integrating a computer's various capabilities, but typically does not directly apply them in the performance of tasks that benefit the user. In this context the term application refers to both the application software and its implementation. Typical examples of software applications are word processors, spreadsheets, and media players.
Multiple applications bundled together as a package are sometimes referred to as an application suite.

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