Understanding Software And Hardware

Hardware vs Software is a comparative topic that are related to components of the computer. Hardware is the tangible component that is associated physically with the computer system, whereas software is the intangible component of the computer system.

Hardware is controlled through the software instructions, whereas the software are designed and developed to do certain specific task through the computer hardware.

Some of the hardware related to computers are hard disk for stare, monitor to display, RAM for memory, and CPU to process the computer. Similarly, Some of the examples of software are Operating systems such as Windows, Linux, Mac.

The browser software like Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, are some of the widely used software.

Let us study much more about Hardware vs Software in detail:. The Internet browser that we installed in our system, which allows us to browse through the web page/websites and the operating system on which the browser is running on, is considered software.

All software required at least one hardware device to operate.

  • We all have played some kind of computer game, which is software, uses the computer hardware like the processor (CPU), memory (RAM), hard drive, video card, sound device and other hardware devices to run and also to interact with the users.
  • We have also used word processing software installed in the computer with a processor, memory, hard drive, mouse, and keyboard to create and save our documents.

In the computer world, hardware is something that makes the computer work. The CPU (central processing unit) processes the information, and that information can be stored in RAM (volatile memory) or on a hard drive (nonvolatile memory).

A sound card is responsible for processing the sound that could be heard from the speakers (sound devices).

The video card is responsible for image and videos displayed on the monitor. All of this is hardware. All in One Software Development Bundle (600+ Courses, 50+ projects)600+ Online Courses | 3000+ Hours | Verifiable Certificates | Lifetime Access 4.6 (3,144 ratings).

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The same system required software can be installed and allow a person to interact with the hardware, and sometimes it is also necessary for the hardware’s to communicate internally with other hardware devices in the same system or outside the system.

An operating system, like Windows, Ubuntu, MacOS, is software.

It provides a graphical interface for people to use the computer and a platform for other software to run on the computer.

Operating systems once installed, then only any additional programs could be installed that allows the user to perform more specialized tasks. So from the above discussion, we can say that Software is a collection of computer programs that perform some task on a computer system.

Categories of Software:.

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Technically in computer systems, we can divide software into three major categories:.

System software. Programming software. Application software. Although this bifurcation is arbitrary, the software is typically programmed to easily interact with the systems.

  • Similarly, Hardware is best described as a device, such as a hard disk, that is physically connected to the system or something that can be physically touched.
  • Monitor, printer, video card are all examples of computer hardware.
  • A computer that failed to function without any hardware or software would have nothing to run on.
  • Both are dependent on each other and interact with one another.
  • It is the Software that tells Hardware which tasks it needs to perform.
  • Below is the top 8 difference between Hardware vs Software.
  • Both are popular choices in the market; let us discuss some of the major difference:.
  • Computer hardware is any physical device, i.e.
  • available or used in (external detachable devices) or with the system, whereas software is a collection of code that needs to be installed into the system.

For example, the computer’s monitor that we are using to read this text is an output device, and the mouse that we used to navigate this web page or to scroll or to click is an input device, and both are computer hardware.

Both are interdependent on each other. Hardware cannot perform the task without software. Similarly, the software could not perform and complete the task without hardware.

Faults can occur on hardware, and there could be many reasons behind the fault. However, faults in software are almost negligible, but bugs can arise in the software with time. Hardware wears out with time Software does not wear out with time.

Hardware only understands machine level language. The software takes input in human-readable languages, which it interprets to machine level language and passes it to hardware to get things done.

Let’s look at the top Comparison between Hardware vs Software –. After a discussion on what is hardware and what is software, we now can conclude our discussion with the facts that both play an important role in computer systems.

Both are dependent on each other, and thus neither Software, not the Hardware, could alone serve the purpose of doing the task.

We had also come across about the fault tolerance nature of both that where the faults can occur. We had also covered the point of how durable it could be, and we find that hardware’s wear and tear with times, but software’s are durable; however, bugs may arise due to many reasons, and it can be fixed.

This has been a guide to the top difference between Hardware vs Software. Here we also discuss the key differences with infographics and comparison table.

You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more. Computer Concepts Tutorial. Computer Concepts Resources.

Selected Reading. The concept of hardware and software is explained in detail below −.

The term hardware refers to mechanical device that makes up computer. Computer hardware consists of interconnected electronic devices that we can use to control computer’s operation, input and output.

Examples of hardware are CPU, keyboard, mouse, hard disk, etc.

Computer hardware is a collection of several components working together. Some parts are essential and others are added advantages.

Computer hardware is made up of CPU and peripherals as shown in image below.

A set of instructions that drives computer to do stipulated tasks is called a program.

Software instructions are programmed in a computer language, translated into machine language, and executed by computer.

Software can be categorized into two types −. System software. Application software. System software operates directly on hardware devices of computer.

It provides a platform to run an application. It provides and supports user functionality. Examples of system software include operating systems such as Windows, Linux, Unix, etc.

An application software is designed for benefit of users to perform one or more tasks. Examples of application software include Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Oracle, etc.

Differences between Software and Hardware are sorted out below −. 107 Lectures 13.5 hours . Arnab Chakraborty. 106 Lectures 8 hours . Arnab Chakraborty.

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Monitors are display units or commonly called as VDU which stands for [visual display unit] they are used to display information received from computers on their screen.

They are also called as SOFTCOPY Terminals.

Printers are hardware component of the computer which is often used for producing outputs on papers as a HARDCOPY.

Speakers are used to output digital signals. You can use a speaker for hearing sound, videos and playing games.

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You cannot touch or feel the software as they are just a set of instructions which is written by SW programmers for an application.

The user will need both hardware and software for a computer system to work properly. Hardware reads software.

Most of the software on our computer system is in the form of programs.

  • System Software
  • Application Software

The system software is any software which controls the hardware so that any application software can run and can be executed to perform various task mentioned by programmers.

System software runs and executes programs, they also monitor various other components of a computer system like CPU, primary and secondary storage, and other peripheral devices of PC.

They communicate and control peripherals devices like printers,scanners,webcam,sound cards etc

They control the hardware of computer systems so that they can work efficiently and Properly to perform the specific task given to them and also to provide a platform for application to perform and to execute in the overall development of application software.
They perform transferring of data to hard disk, It performs text or images or graphics to be seen on display devices,

There are various other system software which is developed for specific tasks, such as device drivers are installed in PC for better functionality of that device,
for example:: Device drivers of display cards and sound cards are used in viewing better resolutions on the computer screen and hearing sound from soundcards.
Programming tools, utility software, compiler, the interpreter is also considered to be system software. System software can be operating system and language processors

where the operating system acts as the interface between user and computers and language processors are those which convert programming languages i.e.

Assembly language and High-level languages to machine language which is a language that is understood by computers.

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Hardware Components

  • Translators
  • Device Drivers
  • Utility Programs
  • Operating System

These are those programs that translate codes that are written in high-level or Assembly language into Machine language or that language that is easily understood by the computer.

These programs are used to help better functionality of hardware devices. Such as mouse, sound cards, and keyboards.

Format, Defragmentation, cleaning of hard disk space & installing and removing application programs from computer.

These utility programs help the user to better communicate and interact with software and hardware.

This acts as the primary interface between a user and computer hardware.

It presents the user with a GUI stands for Graphical User Interface where the user can directly communicate or interact with hardware and software used in computer systems.

The system software manages and controls hardware and user inputs.

They are also used in providing an interface for the development of application SW.


Application Software is a program that is designed and developed for specific purposes and for a special task that is directly used by the users.

In other words, it can be described as an interface between user and system software, which helps the user to perform a given specific task.

Common Application software is a word processor and spreadsheets.

Some of the applications SW are bind in together with other application software such as MS-OFFICE SUITE comes with MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint & Access and Adobe include Adobe Photoshop and Image ready together.
Pre-Installed Application Software which is installed automatically or in other words we can say that they come as a package includes in Popular Operating system such as MICROSOFT Windows.
For Example:: Paint & Windows Media Player

They are designed and developed as well as customized as per the requirements of the clients. Software Developer which uses a high-level language such as Visual Basic (VB) for Front End and SQL(Structural Query Language) server for the development of the application software which fulfills the needs of their clients.

They are developed to perform a special and specific task as the user needs. The developer or the programmer has the privileges to change or update or add or delete the source code of the software any time when found necessary.

In the above article, we have discussed briefly on What is Computer Hardware and Software with Differences.

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