Computer Science: Hardware and Software

Lesson 2: Hardware and Software


Hardware and software

Hardware and software are two terms you've probably heard of at some point or another. The odds are high that you use both on a daily basis, whether it's with your smartphone or personal computer. Let's take a deeper look at what these two things are and why they're important.

Watch the video below to learn more about hardware and software.

Hardware is any element of a computer that's physical. This includes things like monitors, keyboards, and also the insides of devices, like microchips and hard drives.

Software is anything that tells hardware what to do and how to do it, including computer programs and apps on your phone. Video games, photo editors, and web browsers are just a few examples.

Hardware and software are different from each other, but they also need one another in order to function. Let's look at an example of this using a smartphone. In this case, the hardware would be the physical phone itself, and the software would be its operating system and apps.

If we were to take away the software, we would just have a dead phone in our hands. It wouldn't be able to make calls, text, or go online because it's not receiving any instructions.

On the other hand, let's say we have no hardware, meaning there's no actual phone. If all we have are the programs, we just have a bunch of instructions but nothing to give these instructions to.

The big picture here is that hardware needs software to tell it what to do, but software also needs hardware in order to act out its directions. When you combine the two, you can do all sorts of things, whether you're using a smartphone, computer, or any other type of device.

Technology will continue to evolve. We may not be sure how it will look in 100 years, but hardware and software will be there serving as its foundation.