Difference Between Software and Application

Even today, most of the computer literate persons are unable to state the difference between software and an application. Anything which is not tangible but can help you in improving the efficiency and convenience of your task is called software. This is the core difference between software and hardware. Nevertheless, differentiating between a software and an application can be little difficult but it is not impossible. There are many ways to differentiate between them, all you have to do is think a little and you might be able to learn the difference.


  • 1

    Software is anything that you can't touched or felt. It helps you in completing your task effectively and efficiently. Remember that all of your data in computer is called software as you cannot touch it but it can be seen. For instance, your videos, pictures, work files and other data on your hard drive are software but you cannot use them without a compatible application. An application is required to access that information. Of course, application is a part of software that helps you in accessing your files. In other words, anything that does something specifically for you is an application.

  • 2

    The next major difference between software and application is that the former might not be executable for a particular task. On the other hand, a user can start the application whenever he wants and close it after completing the task. However, no such facility is provided in case of the software.

  • 3

    Software never requires input from the user to complete its operation while the applications always demand commands from users to being its operation. The operating system in your computer and different kinds of software that run things are called applications. Other examples of software includes Ms Office, security scans and photo editor.

  • 4

    Any kind of software that requires interaction with the user is called application. In contrast, software does not demand commands for processing and continuing its operations. There are often difficulties in using a software, for example a person should check the compatibility of the application with his computer otherwise there is a little chance that the application will run smoothly on the system. Keep in mind, in order to run heavy applications, a user will be required to upgrade his computer or buy a new one and only then he can interact with a particular application.

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