Hardware and software. Definition. Examples. Similarities and differences

A computer system consists of two main elements: hardware and software. You need hardware and software for a computer system to work.

Hardware Definition

The term hardware refers to the mechanical device that makes up the computer. Computer hardware consists of interconnected electronic devices that we can use to control the operation, input, and output of the computer. For example, internal hardware components include the motherboard, RAM, and CPU. Other examples of hardware include output devices such as a printer and monitor. Input devices such as keyboard and mouse. Also, secondary storage devices like CD, DVD, hard drive, etc.

Software Definition

Software can be defined as programmed instructions stored in the memory of computer flash drives for execution by the processor. Software examples are: Ms Word, Excel, Power Point, Photoshop, MySQL etc. Software can be classified into two types:

System software. System software works directly on the computer’s hardware devices. Provides a platform to run an application. Provides and supports user functionality. Examples of system software include operating systems like Windows, Linux, Unix, etc.

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

Similarities Between Hardware and Software

Both rely heavily on logic, and both are deterministic; that is, unless something is wrong, given the same inputs, a hardware or software system should behave the same.

Differences between Hardware and Software

The hardware is physical and the software is virtual. Hardware is something you can hold in your hand, while software cannot be held in your hand. You can touch the hardware, but you can’t touch the software.

Hardware and software are interconnected, without software, a computer’s hardware would have no function. However, without the creation of hardware to perform software-directed tasks through the central processing unit, software would be useless.

A computer’s hardware is changed infrequently, compared to software and data, which are “soft” in the sense that they are easily created, modified, or deleted on the computer. The software is there to perform the specific task you need to complete.

Software is generally not needed for the hardware to perform its basic-level tasks, such as powering on and responding to input.

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