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Difference between Software and Hardware

Difference between Software and Hardware

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Every technology has various components that work together to solve the problem. A computer system is not an exception, as it consists of a hardware and a software. The computer hardware system is defined as the physical part of a computer and associated devices. The system of the computer is made up of both the internal and external parts of the hardware. The internal hardware of the computer system parts includes the motherboard, RAM, and hard drives. The external hardware comprises the monitor, keyboards, mouse, and printers. When it comes to the computer system software, it is defined as an assortment of computer programs, processes, and certification, which undertakes some tasks on a computer system. It signifies that the computer software is a well thought-out chain of directions for changing the state of the computer hardware in a certain order. Furthermore, software is planned with a user-friendly crossing point that permits humans to interrelate better with a computer system. Thus, computer software consists of programs and applications that run the computer as a whole (Ramachandran & Leahy, 2011). From the above definitions, it is apparent that the assignment intends to differentiate between the computer hardware and the computer software. The differentiation will entail the use of scientific information. Additionally, there will be an enumeration of the findings, their discussion, and a conclusion to sum up the contents of the paper as a whole.


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In the research paper, the secondary research was used, which presupposed the collection, analysis, and interpretation of the information obtained from various scientific studies. In particular, the studies were utilized to find out how the computer software differs from the computer hardware. The approach of using five credible scientific studies of meaningful content was vital. It was an imperative approach as scientific studies brought about relevance in the research.


According to Bangia (2008), “Hardware is something which we can see with our eyes and touch whereas Software is something which we on’t see and works in the background and … we can’t touch it.” The author also implies that despite the differences between the hardware and the software, the two need each other to undertake their normal tasks. An example of hardware, in this case, is the computer, which the user can see and touch. On the contrary, software programs like documentation within the computer cannot be touched.

Furthermore, Rainer and Turban (2008) state that hardware is a combination of physical components that make up computers, which is useless without the presence of software. In other words, the software acts as a set of instructions that guide the computer hardware on what needs to be put into consideration (Rainer & Turban, 2008). The difference, in this case, is based on the dependency and performance. The authors show that the hardware is the physical gadget whereas software is the guideline, initiated within the computer.

Haldar and Aravind (2015) present one more definition, stating that the computer software is a variable part while the hardware is the invariable part. The author also shows that computer software is often divided into application software and system software. The application software is a program utilized by users, who are directly interested in their performance and goal achievement. The system computer software consists of operating systems and any other programs that support the application computer software. When it comes to the computer hardware, Halder and Aravind (2015) say that it is what makes the computer initiate its tasks. For example, hardware includes CPU, which processes data, and RAM and hard drive, on which the information can be stored. Significantly, it is clear that despite the difference between the computer software and hardware, they both depend on each other to undertake their tasks successfully for the end user.

As per the contents of Ramachandran and Leahy (2011), the computer hardware is a device, such as a hard drive, which is physically connected to the computer. On the other hand, software is a general term utilized to describe the entire collection of the computer programs and docummentation that perform some task on computer systems. Significantly, the difference offered in this case is based on the physical and the unseen perspective.

Additionally, Bryant and O’Hallaron (2015) illustrate that computer hardware is designed to allow the performance of general functions while the software enables the user to perform specific functions that offer the user positive content. Thus, the implication here is that the difference between computer hardware and computer software lies in their nature of performing and appearance.   


From the contributions made from the five scientific studies, it is apparent that the computer software is capable of initiating many tasks as opposed to the computer hardware that is capable of only performing mechanical tasks (Bangia, 2008). The computer software application is utilized to run a computer hardware and computer system itself. Additionally, the computer software consists of the application software and the system software as enumerated in the above paragraphs. Moreover, it is worth noting that the system software is made up of operating systems, device drivers, and diagnostic tools (Bryant & O’Hallaron, 2015). The application software on its part is meant to permit users to accomplish tasks being undertaken. The services initiated under the application software are processing, browsing, and the documentation of relevant information on the hardware.

An example of how the computer hardware and computer software are different is the case where one uses a computer to interact with another person through the email. The hardware, in this case, is the physical machinery that can be seen and touched. On the other hand, the email is the computer software that cannot be touched as it acts as the program. Thus, using the keyboard, the information is written and emailed to another person. Fundamentally, the example above proves how computer hardware and software depend on each other for a task to be complete. It is a good example because it clarifies how software and hardware are different based on a computer system point of view.

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