Concept of Hardware and Software


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 Components

Hardware Components

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.

Computer Hardware Architecture


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

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.

System Software

Application Software

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.

Application Software

Differences between Software and Hardware are sorted out below −

Sr.No. Software Hardware
1 It is a collection of programs to bring computer hardware system into operation. It includes physical components of computer system.
2 It includes numbers, alphabets, alphanumeric symbols, identifiers, keywords, etc. It consists of electronic components like ICs, diodes, registers, crystals, boards, insulators, etc.
3 Software products evolve by adding new features to existing programs to support hardware. Hardware design is based on architectural decisions to make it work over a range of environmental conditions and time.
4 It will vary as per computer and its built-in functions and programming language. It is mostly constructed for all types of computer systems.
5 It is designed and developed by experienced programmers in high-level language. The hardware can understand only low-level language or machine language.
6 It is represented in any high-level language such as BASIC, COBOL, C, C++, JAVA, etc. The hardware works only on binary codes 1’s and 0’s. Computer Data Transfer
7 The software is categorized as operating system, utilities, language processor, application software, etc. The hardware consists of input devices, output devices, memory, etc.