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The difference between application, program, software?

Hello! I am a little bit confused with these 3 words, application, program, software. What realy is the difference between them

4 Answers

Kristopher Van Sant
Kristopher Van Sant
Courses Plus Student 18,828 Points

Great question! All three words are often used interchangeably, but there is a technical difference.

Software- the programs and other operating information used by a computer. Software can be made up of more than one program. All-encompassing term that is often used in contrast to hardware (the tangible parts of a computer)

Application- A program or group of programs that is designed for the end user. Application software (an application) is a set of computer programs designed to permit the user to perform a group of coordinated functions, tasks, or activities. Application software cannot run on itself but is dependent on system software to execute.

Program- A set of instructions telling a computer what to do.

"All applications are programs, but a program is not necessarily an application. For example, there are always lots of programs running on the background of an operating system, but since they weren't developed for the end-user, they are not applications. On the other hand, Windows Media Player and Firefox, for example, are applications. They have a Graphical User Interface." -

Hope this helps. :)

Great help and I didn't even ask the question! Thanks for these resources!

Lucas Batista
Lucas Batista
Pro Student 298 Points

Thanks Kris! Great answer! I'll make a post in my blog explaining this.

Exceptional, clear, comprehensive answer, Kristopher Van Sant. Thank you!

Kristopher Van Sant
Kristopher Van Sant
Courses Plus Student 18,828 Points

Thank you so much Joy! (And Aimee!) So happy that my answer has still been helpful! :)

P.S. Joy, your comment was posted several times so I removed the extra ones :) Happy coding and keep up the awesome work!

Cool Answer! Helped me a lot! Thanks Kristopher!

Great question and answer! Thanks!