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Difference between hardware and software

Last updated date: 12th Jul 2024
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The IT industry is growing very fast in India. Several global companies outsource their work to Indian companies. If you consider computers or IT as a career, it is important to begin by understanding the difference between software and hardware. Software and hardware are two different components of the computer and require a set of skills to work on it. Now let's see what exactly are the software and hardware and the difference between them. 


In a nutshell, the hardware is a physical device or a machine and a software is a set of codes that in the hardware.


The software refers to programs that operate a computer. The software is the internal part of a computer and requires programming or coding skills to build them. The operating systems we have in all our computers are basic examples of software. For example, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Unix , Macintosh are operating systems. Operating systems allow computers to perform basic tasks. The capabilities of the operating systems also depend on the RAM that provides them with speed and accuracy.             

Apart from operating systems, some of the other applications we use are also examples of software. In the era of modern computing, software is provided as a service that is also called SaaS products .


The hardware is the component that allows the software to work. Some of the hardware examples are monitor, CPU (CPU), mouse, keyboard, printer, scanner etc. This hardware basically has software inside to work according to the command given to them. Basically, all components of the computing device are hardware-related.   

When we look at all these hardware components, networking becomes an important consideration that will connect these hardware to each other to run smoothly.

The difference between software and hardware

As mentioned above, the software is the program and the hardware is the components that install the software in them. The fundamental difference between software and hardware is that the software is only able to perform its tasks if it is supported by the hardware. Similarly, the hardware will not work if it does not have software to provide the work orders.   

In modern electronics, there are several software and hardware that allow users to perform various tasks. Your phone is hardware that requires operating systems such as Android or iOS to make it work.     

Can a computer work without software?

The answer is no! Software is the brain of the computer or electronic device and the hardware is the body that can exist without the brain but will not work.