Nowadays the words hardware and software have become part of our
daily lingo. That being said, it's good to know what each means and
why software is important in this age of digitalisation.
Hardware and software are two main elements of a computer system.
Hardware and software differ from each other in many ways. But they
are interdependent. We need both software and hardware to run a
computer and perform different tasks.
Learning Objectives :
• Distinguish the classification of Hardware and Software
• Define the difference of hardware and software
• Understand the functions of hardware and software
Computer system is divided into two categories:
1. HARDWARE- refers to any physical and visible
components of the computer system.
2. SOFTWARE – refers to a set of instructions which
enable the hardware to perform a specific task.
▪ The physical tangible parts of a computer
▪ Ex. Keyboard, monitor, wires, chips, data
▪ Set of instructions, data or programs
▪ Ex. Internet browsers, Microsoft
windows, operating system (OS)
Computer hardware can be categorized as being either internal or
Internal hardware components -
are those necessary for the proper functioning of the computer
External hardware components -
are attached to the computer to add or enhance functionality.
External computer hardware components :
Input hardware components
Output hardware components
Common input hardware components include the following:
6. USB flash drive
7. Memory card
▪ Examples of output hardware components include the
▪ ear buds.
2 main categories:
1. Application software
2. System software
application software is a computer
software package that performs a
specific function for a user, or in some
cases, for another
System software. These software
programs are designed to run a
computer application programs
and hardware. it controls the
operations of the computer
hardware and provides an
environment or platform for all the
other types of software to work in.
Application Software examples:
office suites, graphics
software, databases and database management programs, web
browsers, word processors,
software development tools, image editors and communication
System Software examples:
-(OS) Operating system
ex. microsoft windows, apple macOS,Linux etc.
-Compilers ex. Java
Both hardware and software are necessary for the proper
functioning of the computer. Software cannot be utilized
without hardware while hardware cannot be utilized
without software. The difference between hardware and
software is that hardware refers to physical components
of a computer while software refers to a set of
instructions given to a computer to perform a certain