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Difference between System Software and Operating System

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1. System Software: 

System software is a type of computer program that is designed to run a computer’s hardware and application programs it controls a computer’s internal functioning, chiefly through an operating system. It also controls peripherals devices such as monitors, printers, and storage devices. 

2. Operating System: 

An operating system or OS is system software that manages computer hardware, and software resources, and provides common services for computer programs. All operating systems are system software. Every desktop computer, tablet, and smartphone includes an operating system that provides basic functionality for the device.

Difference between System Software and Operating System :

S. No.System SoftwareOperating System
1.The software which manages the resources and makes the interaction between a user and machine possible is system software.An operating system is a software that communicates with your computer hardware and provides a place to run the application.
2.System software manages the system.Operating System manages system as well as system software.

Types of System Software-

  • Operating Systems- MS Windows, Mac OS, Linux, etc.
  • Device Drivers- Display drivers, USB drivers, etc.
  • Firmware- BIOS, Embedded Systems, etc.
  • Language Translators- Compiler, Interpreter, Assembler
  • Utility- Antivirus software, WinRAR, etc.

Types of Operating System-

  • Batch Operating System
  • Multiprocessing Operating System
  • Multiprogramming Operating System
  • Multi Tasking Operating System
  • Time Sharing Operating System
  • Real-Time Operating System
  • Distributed Operating System
  • Network Operating System
4.It’s run only when required.It runs all the time.
5.It loads in the main memory whenever required. It resides in the main memory all the time while the system is on.
6.It is loaded by the operating system.It resides in the main memory all the time while the system is on.
7.Examples of system software are MacOS, Android, and Microsoft windows.Examples of OS are Windows, OS X, and Linux.

System software and operating system are two related concepts but are not the same thing. Here are some of the main differences:

  1. Scope: Operating system is a type of system software, but system software is not limited to operating system only. System software includes various other programs that help to manage and run the computer system, such as device drivers, language translators, utility programs, and more.
  2. Function: Operating system is the main program that manages and controls all the other software and hardware components of the computer. It provides a platform for other software applications to run on top of it. System software, on the other hand, provides tools and services to help developers create and manage software applications.
  3. Importance: Operating system is an essential component of any computer system. Without an operating system, a computer cannot function. System software, on the other hand, is important but not essential. Some applications can run without system software, but they may not be able to utilize the full power of the computer system.
  4. Complexity: Operating systems are usually more complex than other types of system software. They have to manage hardware resources, provide security, and support various software applications. System software, on the other hand, can be relatively simple in comparison, depending on its purpose.

Overall, while both operating systems and system software are important components of a computer system, they serve different purposes and have different levels of importance and complexity.

Last Updated : 20 Apr, 2023
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