Operating System And Application Software Differences Computer Science Essay

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A computer is needed for everyone in this century. We can use computer for personal purpose, entertainment, education, business, and many more. Computers help make jobs that used to be complicated much simpler. For example, a user can easily write letters in a word processor and edit any portion of the letter anytime, spell check the letter, and move text from another document into the letter, etc. This is just one of the millions of different things a computer is capable of doing. A computer are a device that been created during World War II, these early computer used vacuum tubes and were very large and only found in business, government, or university. Later on, computer began utilizing transistors as well as smaller and cheaper parts that allowed the common person to own their own computer. Today, most computer are often comprised with some component like casing, optical drive, CPU, floppy disk drive, hard disk drive, memory, monitor, mouse, keyboard, printer, joystick, sound card, video card, speakers motherboard and microphone.

Definition of Question 1

Operating system also known as OS, is a programs designed to run other programs on a computer. An operating system is the most important programs in a computer, it is considered as backbone of a computer, which is managing hardware and software resources of the computer. Operating systems are responsible for everything from the control and allocation of memory to recognizing input from external devices and transmitting output to computer displays. They also manage files on computer hard drives and control peripherals, like printers and scanners. The operating system of a large computer system has even more work to do. Such operating systems monitor different programs and users, making sure everything runs smoothly, without interference, despite the fact that numerous devices and programs are used simultaneously. An operating system also has a vital role to play in security. Its job includes preventing unauthorized users from accessing the computer system. Application software designed to perform a specific function directly for the user. Examples of application software included word processors, database programs, web browsers; development tool like drawing, painting, image editing programs; and communication programs. Application programs use the services of the computer's operating system and other supporting programs. The formal requests for services and means of communicating with other programs that a programmer uses in writing an application program is called the application program interface (API).

Answer for Question 1

Operating system

An operating system is a software program that enables the computer hardware to communicate and operate with the computer software. Without a computer operating system, a computer would be useless. These are some types of OS:

Windows 7


Windows 7 was officially debut to public on October 22, 2009 by Microsoft. Windows 7 replaced Windows Vista as Microsoft`s newest operating system. Windows 7 was released in conjunction with Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7's server counterpart. It was previously codenamed "Blackcomb" and "Vienna" .Enhancements and new features in Windows 7 include multi-touch support, Internet Explorer 8, improved performance and start-up time, Aero Snap, Aero Shake, support for virtual hard disks, a new and improved Windows Media Center, and improved security.



Linux is a free open source operating system based on Unix. It is available from many vendors with optional paid for support and provides an increasingly viable alternative to the Win32 platform. Linux is widely deployed as a server OS and as an embedded OS. For example, Linux runs in most of the servers on the Internet and in countless appliances and consumer electronics devices. In the desktop market, Linux has nowhere near the same penetration; however, it gains ground slowly and steadily.Linux is a multitasking, multi user operating system that is known for its stability. Although modified by numerous people, its robustness stems from its Unix-like architecture that keeps peripheral software components isolated from the core software.



Mac OS X, pronounced "Mac Oh-Es Ten," is the current version of the operating system used on Apple Macintosh computers. Previous versions of the Mac OS, were based on the original Macintosh operating system, released in 1984. In the late 1990's, many computer users felt Windows had "caught up" to the Mac OS and Apple's operating system began to appear a bit dated. So Apple completely revamped the Mac OS and created a new operating system from the ground up. Since the initial release, Apple has released several major updates to Mac OS X, at a pace of roughly one update a year. The list of OS X versions include 10.0 Cheetah, 10.1 Puma, 10.2 Jaguar, 10.3 Panther, and 10.4 Tiger. Mac OS X 10.5 is expected to be called Leopard.

Application Software

Application software is a generic term for organized collections of computer data and instructions, often broken into two major categories: system software that provides the basic non-task-specific functions of the computer, and application software which is used by users to accomplish specific tasks.

System software is responsible for controlling, integrating, and managing the individual hardware components of a computer system so that other software and the users of the system see it as a functional unit without having to be concerned with the low-level details such as transferring data from memory to disk, or rendering text onto a display. Here are some examples of application software.

I Tunes

I Tunes are a software that designed use to transfer media file like song, video clip, podcast, application, picture from a computer to a Apple device such as I Phone, I Pod, I Pod Touch, I Pod Shuffle, etc. It can back up information of those devices.

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is word processing software used to create, edit and print document. The first versions of Word came out under DOS and provided both graphics-based and text-based interfaces for working with a document.

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a application software leading paint program from Adobe Systems, Inc. For many years, Photoshop has been the model against which other paint programs are compared. Initially, it ran only on Macintosh systems.

Different between Operating system and Application software

Operating system handles the interface to peripheral hardware, schedules task, allocates storage, and present default interface to the use when not application program is running. Operating system maybe spilt into a kernel which is always present and various programs which use facilities provided by the kernel to perform high level tasks. Application software used to generating and sharing consistent application definitions amongst multiple performance and resource management tools. A common interface accepts requests from performance or resource management tools and returns requested process-to-application mapping data. A parameters file contains a common syntax for application definitions, and a module uses the parameters file to determine mapping from processes into applications. A performance monitoring tool for senses current system processes' states and provides measurement data to the mapping module.

Definition of Question 2

Computers can be generally classified by size and power as follows, though there is considerable overlap. When you'll have to order yours or even to build it, you should first define expect of your computer. There are six types of computers example personal computer, mainframes, workstation, super computer, mini computers, and embedded computer.

Personal Computer

A personal computer can be defined as a small, relatively inexpensive computer designed for an individual user. In price, personal computers range anywhere from a few hundred pounds to over five thousand pounds. All are based on the microprocessor technology that enables manufacturers to put an entire CPU on one chip. Businesses use personal computers for word processing, accounting, desktop publishing, and for running spreadsheet and database management applications. At home, the most popular use for personal computers is for playing games and recently for surfing the Internet.

Personal computers first appeared in the late 1970s. One of the first and most popular personal computers was the Apple II, introduced in 1977 by Apple Computer. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, new models and competing operating systems seemed to appear daily. Then, in 1981, IBM entered the fray with its first personal computer, known as the IBM PC. The IBM PC quickly became the personal computer of choice, and most other personal computer manufacturers fell by the wayside. P.C. is short for personal computer or IBM PC. One of the few companies to survive IBM's onslaught was Apple Computer, which remains a major player in the personal computer marketplace. Other companies adjusted to IBM's dominance by building IBM clones, computers that were internally almost the same as the IBM PC, but that cost less. Because IBM clones used the same microprocessors as IBM PCs, they were capable of running the same software. Over the years, IBM has lost much of its influence in directing the evolution of PCs. Therefore after the release of the first PC by IBM the term PC increasingly came to mean IBM or IBM-compatible personal computers, to the exclusion of other types of personal computers, such as Macintoshes. In recent years, the term PC has become more and more difficult to pin down. In general, though, it applies to any personal computer based on an Intel microprocessor, or on an Intel-compatible microprocessor. For nearly every other component, including the operating system, there are several options, all of which fall under the rubric of PC.


Mainframe was a term originally referring to the cabinet containing the central processor unit or "main frame" of a room-filling Stone Age batch machine. After the emergence of smaller "minicomputer" designs in the early 1970s, the traditional big iron machines were described as "mainframe computers" and eventually just as mainframes. Nowadays a Mainframe is a very large and expensive computer capable of supporting hundreds, or even thousands, of users simultaneously. The chief difference between a supercomputer and a mainframe is that a supercomputer channels all its power into executing a few programs as fast as possible, whereas a mainframe uses its power to execute many programs concurrently. In some ways, mainframes are more powerful than supercomputers because they support more simultaneous programs. But supercomputers can execute a single program faster than a mainframe.


Workstation is a type of computer used for engineering applications (CAD/CAM), desktop publishing, software development, and other types of applications that require a moderate amount of computing power and relatively high quality graphics capabilities. Workstations generally come with a large, high-resolution graphics screen, at large amount of RAM, built-in network support, and a graphical user interface. Most workstations also have a mass storage device such as a disk drive, but a special type of workstation, called a diskless workstation, comes without a disk drive. The most common operating systems for workstations are UNIX and Windows NT. Like personal computers, most workstations are single-user computers. However, workstations are typically linked together to form a local-area network, although they can also be used as stand-alone systems.

Super Computer

Super computer is a broad term for one of the fastest computers currently available. Supercomputers are very expensive and are employed for specialized applications that require immense amounts of mathematical calculations. For example, weather forecasting requires a supercomputer. Other uses of supercomputers scientific simulations, graphics, fluid dynamic calculations, nuclear energy research, electronic design, and analysis of geological data. Perhaps the best known supercomputer manufacturer is Cray Research.

Mini computers

Mini computers are a midsize computer. In the past decade, the distinction between large minicomputers and small mainframes has blurred, however, as has the distinction between small minicomputers and workstations. But in general, a minicomputer is a multiprocessing system capable of supporting from up to 200 users simultaneously.

Embedded Computer

An embedded computer is a special-purpose computer system, which is completely encapsulated by the device it controls. An embedded system has specific requirements and performs pre-defined tasks, unlike a general-purpose personal computer. Embedded systems are routinely expected to maintain 100% reliability while running continuously for long periods of time, sometimes measured in years. Firmware is usually developed and tested to much stricter requirements than is general purpose software. 


Computer is an electronic machine for storing and organizing information, and for communicating with others. Computers are combine many hardware examples input devices like the keyboard and mouse, CPU and memory, storage devices like hard drives, output devices like printers and monitors. Application software is a complete, self-contained program that performs a specific function directly for the user. The types of computers range from the Hybrid to the Analog types. The computers you come across in the daily course of your day range from laptops, palmtops and towers, to desktop computers, to name a few. But the very word "computers" reminds one of the desktop computers used in offices or homes. Different categories of computes have been devised in keeping with our varied needs.