What is the difference between hardware and software?

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pirateteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Think of software as the programs that make your computer work.  Microsoft Word, Firefox, and even your calendar are examples of application software that allows you to perform actions. Tthe other two categories of software are system and programming software.

Hardware is the tangible, or physical, pieces that make up your computer.  The hard drive, memory, the keyboard, the monitor, and graphic card may make up the hardware of your computer. 

If you get confused between the two think of the differences between turning in a hard copy or a soft copy of a paper. A soft copy (just like software) remains on the computer and cannot be physically touched while a hard copy (just like your computer's hardware) is a printed piece of paper that be be touched.

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