Application Software And System Software Computer Science Essay


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It is the programs and the instructions that enable the computer to do a certain task. It is divided into application software and system software.

System Software

This term is used to describe programs that enable the computer to work and coordinate the various parts of the computer system to make it run efficiently.

It controls the operation of the computer, meaning telling the hardware (e.g. printer) what to do and when and how to do it.

It is the base for applications software as they cannot work without system software

Operating systems are an example of it. The operating system is the program that actually makes the computer works.

Application software

This term is used for programs that enable the user to do specific task such as creating a document, producing invoices and using database.

It is used once the operating system has been loaded.

It can be educational programs, entertainment programs, etc.

Operating System

It is the software that actually makes the computer work. An example of it is Microsoft Windows, Macintosh Operating system (Mac OS), Linux and Unix.

These are some functions of the operating system:

Boot up the computer.

Control the hardware such as printer, scanner, monitor, keyboard and mouse.

Controlling features such as formatting disks, saving files and retrieving them form the hard disk.

Provide the base for the applications software to be launched.

Allows the applications software to use the hardware.

Applications Software

As discussed before, applications software is the computer programs that enable the user to do specific task and here are some types of application software:

Word processing programs: They are used to create documents such as letter, reports, memos, etc. An example is Microsoft Word.

Spreadsheet programs: They are used to analyze and summarize numerical data. An example is Microsoft Excel.

Database programs: They are used to organize and manage large quantities of data. An example is Microsoft Access.

Presentation graphics programs: They are used to create presentations. An example is Microsoft PowerPoint.

Photo editing programs: They are used to edit images such as changing the size of images and adjust the colors of images. . An example is adobe Photoshop.

Desktop publishing programs: They are used to create printed materials such as magazines, posters, flyers and books. An example is Microsoft Publisher.

Internet Web Browsers: They are used to work on the internet. An example is Microsoft Internet Explorer, Opera and Mozilla Firefox.

User Interface

Users interact with software in many ways. Some users write the commands that they need to do, other presses certain keys from the keyboard to do a certain task and some prefer use the mouse.

Command Syntax: Early user interface required users to type exactly instructions with specific rules to do a certain task. The users didn't like this way because they have to be very careful in writing the commands and of course they have to remember it.

Shortcut Keystrokes: They enable the users to use the commands through pressing certain keys from the keyboard. This way may be hard to be remembered.

Graphical User Interface (GUI): It refers to the graphics screens that make it easier for users to interact with programs through using icons, mouse, drop down menus and windows.

Activity (3-1)


Distinguish between applications software and system software.

Identifying the different types of user interface.


1. Choose the correct answer

Linux is an example of ………………………

Application software.

System software.


Storage device.

Which of the following is a friendly user interface?

Command syntax.

Shortcut keystrokes.



Which of the following is an example of application software?

Microsoft Windows.



Microsoft Word.

Which of the following coordinates the various parts of the computer system to make it run efficiently?

System software.

Application software.

Word processing software.

None of the above.

GUI is an abbreviation of ………………………

Graphical User Interface.

Graphical User Input.

Graphical Unit Interface.

Graphical Unit Input.

2. Mention two functions of the operating system and the application software.


This chapter provides detailed information about software and these are the points that are explained in this chapter:

What is the meaning of software?

Types of software.

The difference between application software and system software.

The functions of the operating system and examples on it.

The uses of some applications software.

What user interface is and examples of it.

Now you are ready to know about networks and internet. What a network is, types and advantages of it. Also what an internet is and how it can be useful to users. This will be explained in the next chapter.

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