Skip to main content

Software vs Hardware – Learn the Difference

What is the difference between software and hardware? Let's find out.

What Is Software?

Software is a collection of programs used to instruct the computer on what to do.

note

The term "soft" implies that computer programs are soft (easy) to change, while "ware" means product. Therefore, you can describe software as a flexible product.

Types of software

The two main types of software are:

  • Application software
  • System software

"The delineation between system software and application software is not exact and is occasionally the object of controversy." — Wikipedia

What is application software?

Application software is the computer programs end-users use to accomplish specific tasks.

Media players, word processors, and spreadsheets are examples of application software.

note

An application software is sometimes called an app, application program, application, or software application.

What is system software?

System software is the computer programs computers use to accomplish specific tasks.

Operating systems, game engines, and device drivers are examples of system software.

What Is Hardware?

Hardware is the physical part of a machine.

note

The term "hard" implies that a machine's physical parts are hard (rigid) to change, while "ware" means product. Therefore, you can describe hardware as a rigid product.

Types of hardware

The two main types of hardware are:

  • External hardware
  • Internal hardware

What is external hardware?

External hardware is the externally connected components of a machine that users connect through the device's ports.

Mouse, keyboards, and printers are examples of external hardware.

note

External hardware is sometimes called peripheral components.

What is internal hardware?

Internal hardware is the internally connected elements of a machine that you will find inside the device's casing.

CPU, RAM, and motherboard are examples of internal hardware.

Overview

Hardware is the touchable part of a machine. And software is the program written for hardware to store and run.

Tweet this article