Software vs. Hardware

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Difference between Software and Hardware

Having a computer is so crucial. People can’t imagine doing work or play without it. We use it so often that it has become a part and parcel of our lives, enabling us to carry on a lot of activities like chatting, listening to music, learning about current events and enjoying life. Consequently, people tend to invest frequently in their computers to enhance their functioning. Apart from PCs, laptops and palmtops are also available now. Even mobiles like PDA’s have many integrated applications no longer privy only to computers.



Hardware is tangible and software is intangible. Hardware refers to the external parts of a computer like its physical components. Software refers to all the digitally accumulated data like computer programs. It also includes all kinds of information that can be read by computers. The parts that are collectively termed hardware are used with the help of application software and an operating system. The various parts of a computer’s hardware are its monitor, CPU, motherboard, hard disk, random access memory, optical disk drive, keyboard and a mouse.


A case also constitutes a significant hardware component. The main part of a computer’s case is the motherboard. It is a big rectangular board, which has connected circuitry so that the various parts of the PC including RAM, Disk drives and CPU are integrated easily.

Many kinds of software exist. One of them is the application software and another is system software. The former kind of software helps users in performing all their tasks on the PC. The latter kind of software makes sure that the computer is performing well. Today, websites also constitute a kind of software. But other kinds of software also exist that have no use in a computer like programming software, testware and platform software (device, drivers, graphical user interface and the operating system of a computer). Its also not easy to use certain software by the user if no documentation is provided to him because certain softwares are so specific to a use so anyone can use them easily, unlike hardware which are generalized for PCs.


Software manufacturing is also more advanced as compared to hardware. Hardware can be manufactured easily. Software development on the other hand has various stages involved like software programming and testing. A software program can’t be released unless its fit for use by a person or a group after thorough testing.


  • Cost-Hardware components of a computer are not as expensive as its software. The hardware of a computer can be changed quite frequently except for the motherboard and the RAM.
  • Specifications-If you want to improve the pace of your computer’s functioning, it’s better to invest in software rather than hardware. Changing the hardware can’t alter the way your PC performs.
  • Availability-Software needs frequent updates to be able to perform brilliantly. Using pirated software is not a good idea. It is also unwise to download free software from any website as the download could include a malicious virus. The same does not hold true for your hardware which can be bought from any computer shop or online. 


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