What are the differences between Hardware and Software?

Do you think you know computers enough? Well, we have a systematic understanding for you to know the difference between Computer hardware and software.

Computers being the by-product of hardware and software both, have a few essential requirements that are provided within the boundaries of these two segments – Hardware and software. To understand the difference between the functionalities of the two, we must know how they are related to computers and their operations.

Firstly, let’s find out:

What is computer hardware?

Hardware in the world of computers can be defined as the physical components of a computer such as electronics parts, namely, CPU, Memory, Hard Disk, Monitor, Printer, Mouse, etc. Hardware is basically anything and everything that you can see and touch. It includes circuit boards, ICs, or other electronics.

On the other hand, the device on which you are experiencing this page is also an example of the hardware, whether you are reading this on a phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. Practically, a computer system will not exist without any hardware or without software for that matter.

A very good example of an external hardware peripheral is a keyboard, which takes command from the users as input for the computer.

What is computer software?

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A Computer Software is a defined set of programs, primarily designed to perform a specific task or function. It is designed on a theory that works in a sequential pattern of instructions meticulously dictated to the system to find a solution for a particular problem.

Also, to make it even more simpler for your understanding, Softwares are of  two types:

  • System Software
  • Application Software

The system software is a dedicated collection of programs curated to operate, control, and extend the processing capabilities of the computer. System software is what computer manufacturers come up with in most of the cases. These software programs include programs that are coded in low-level languages, that means the interaction with the hardware is basic. These are the first and foremost connection builders between the hardware and the end-users.

What’s the importance of software?

In the era of digital influence, one cannot manage to stay updated without being well-versed with computer software and fast-moving technological advancements. The generation of millennials consider Google as their best doubt-solving portal. Without the mobile software and computer software in place, right now no one can imagine a smooth functioning of their lifestyle. All are extremely dependent on the software that we are surrounded with if one stops functioning for a few days, it makes us suffer for example, if google maps doesn’t work for an hour, a lot of daily commuters do suffer.

From waking up in the morning till the night, I manage so much through these software from alarm clock, to emails, gaming to video surfing and so much more. From checking social networking sites every hour, catching up with binge-watch on the weekends at OTT platforms. In each activity software is the major support system.

Software is developed to enhance our lifestyles in the best way possible whether it’s about using an e-commerce website, gaming app, social media apps or more. Therefore, the importance of software in our everyday life is inevitable with a growing world of technology, and cloud computing; users are no longer required to download software to their computers. They can simply run programs from their computers, laptops or smartphones.

Now, when we know what is the relevance of both hardware and software we need to understand how different these are in terms of adding characteristics to the computer system as a whole.

What are the Difference between hardware and software?

Physical component to execute the instructionsEnables users to communicate with the hardware
Manufactured in factories.Developed by software programmers or companies.
Storage Devices, Input Devices, Output DevicesOperating Systems, Application Software, and Programming Software
Can be seen and touchedCan be seen but cannot be touched as it is virtual
Computer viruses cannot affect hardwareComputer viruses can affect software.
Can be replaced with a new one if damagedCan be reinstalled if it gets damaged.
Cannot be transferred electrically, only possible physicallyCan be transferred electrically
Examples: CPU, RAM, ROM, Printer, Monitor, Mouse, etc.Examples: Google Chrome, MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Notepad, Photoshop, etc.
Can a computer run without Hardware? NoCan a computer run without the software? No

Writer – Mini Jain

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