DifferencesSoftware is a special kind of data that contains instructions for hardware. Computer hardware is a logic machine that can process data and perform calculations. Software takes no physical form. Hardware is always a physical device.
DependenciesSoftware can not run without hardware. Most modern hardware also doesn't function without software. For example, hardware typically requires software such as drivers, firmware and an operating system just to boot up. In theory, hardware can function without software but this is rare amongst modern machines.
AnalogyHardware is like a grand piano. It is a physical thing that does nothing on its own. Software is like a piano playing ghost. It has no physical form but can make the piano do something useful.
ExampleA mobile phone contains a CPU and a variety of specialized hardware that doesn't operate at all without software. Software on a phone includes firmware, drivers, an operating system, systems and applications that contain millions of instructions for the hardware. The software orchestrates and performs all the functionality offered by the phone with the hardware acting as an engine.
NotesTechnically speaking, software does have a physical form as it is represented by physical states on a data storage device. However, it is more useful to think of it as having no physical presence as it can be copied, changed and deleted almost instantly.
|Software vs Hardware|
A series of instructions that is used to operate hardware.
A physical machine that acts as an engine for computation.