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Difference Between Device Driver and Application Software

The difference between device driver and application software lies in the difference between a driver and software. A driver is an intermediary between the operating system and the hardware device it is associated with. And software is a special computer program that makes the best use of the hardware in the best ways possible. In that context, application software are end-user programs designed for specific purposes. In fact, the term application software refers to all applications collectively.

What is Device Driver?

Device driver is a special type of software program which enables communication between the kernel of a computer and the different hardware. It enables a hardware device to communicate with the operating system of a computer. Without the necessary drivers, the computer won’t be able to send and receive data to the hardware devices. Device drivers have a special role in the operation system kernel. These are the software programs that make a particular piece of hardware respond to a well-defined internal programming interface; they hide completely the details of how the device actually works. They control a hardware part attached to a computer, allowing the computer to use the hardware through a suitable interface. A device driver simply acts as an intermediary between a hardware device and the operating system. So, the purpose of device drivers is to make sure the hardware functions and operates smoothly.

What is Application Software?

Application software is a computer software program or a group of programs designed to assist the end users with a particular process. It is a special computer program created for a specific purpose for the end user. The software other than the system software is application software, which the user is interacting with directly. Basically, every program on a computer is a piece of application software. It is specific purpose software designed to perform a specific function or a group of coordinated functions, tasks or activities for the end users. In fact, the term application software refers to all applications collectively. They are in contrast with system software, which in fact, are low-level programs designed to run a computer’s hardware or application programs. The most common application software programs are the ones we use every day and include Microsoft suite of products, Web browsers (such as Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), media players, photo editors, mobile applications, and more.

Difference between Device Driver and Application Software

Meaning

 – Device drivers are operating system-specific software programs that enable a hardware device to communicate with the operating system of a computer. They are software programs that make a particular piece of hardware respond to a well-defined internal programming interface, while hiding the details of how the device actually works. Application software, on the other hand, specific purpose software designed to perform a specific function or a group of coordinated functions, tasks or activities for the end users. It is a computer software program or a group of programs designed to assist the end users with a particular process.

Purpose

 – A device driver simply acts as an intermediary between a hardware device and the operating system, which allows a computer to interface and interact with a specific hardware device. The purpose of device drivers is to make sure the hardware functions and operates smoothly by allowing the computer to know the configuration and specifications of the hardware device. Application software is a special computer program created for a specific purpose for the end user. The purpose is to help end users perform different tasks, which may be related to productivity, creativity, or communication.

Types 

– Device driver can be primarily divided into two main categories: kernel device drivers and user device drivers. Kernel drivers function as part of the operating system after they are loaded into the memory, such as BIOS drivers and motherboard drivers. User device drivers are the ones triggered by users, such as the plug-and-play device drivers, virtual device drivers, or I/O device drivers. Application software, on the other hand, can be broadly classified into many different software programs, such as word processing software, desktop publishing software, database software, communication software, presentation software, spreadsheet software, and many more.

Device Driver vs. Application Software: Comparison Chart

Summary of Device Driver vs. Application Software

In a nutshell, device drivers are operating system-specific software programs that enable a hardware device to communicate with the operating system of a computer. It does so by letting the computer to know the configuration and specifications of the hardware device so that the device functions smoothly. They make a particular piece of hardware respond to a well-defined internal programming interface without getting into the details of how the device actually works. Application software, on the other hand, are end-user programs that are perceived as a single entity for a well-defined purpose.


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References :


[0]Corbet, Jonathan et al. Linux Device Drivers: Where the Kernel Meets the Hardware. Sebastopol, California: O’Reilly Media, 2005. Print

[1]Corbet, Jonathan et al. Linux Device Drivers: Where the Kernel Meets the Hardware. Sebastopol, California: O’Reilly Media, 2005. Print

[2]Baker, Art and Jerry Lozano. The Windows 2000 Device Driver Book: A Guide for Programmers. New Jersey, United States: Prentice Hall, 2001. Print

[3]Tidrow, Rob, et al. Windows 10 Anniversary Update Bible. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2017. Print

[4]Image credit: https://c0.wallpaperflare.com/preview/266/323/787/app-application-application-software-applications.jpg

[5]Image credit: https://live.staticflickr.com/7289/26775594584_d2fe7483f9_c.jpg

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