Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » S »

software


Software means computer instructions or data. Anything that can be stored electronically is software, in contrast to storage devices and display devices which are called hardware.

The Difference Between Software and Hardware

The terms software and hardware are used as both nouns and adjectives. For example, you can say: "The problem lies in the software," meaning that there is a problem with the program or data, not with the computer itself. You can also say: "It's a software problem."

The distinction between software and hardware is sometimes confusing because they are so integrally linked. Clearly, when you purchase a program, you are buying software. But to buy the software, you need to buy the disk (hardware) on which the software is recorded.

Categories of Computer Software

Software is often divided into two categories.  Systems software includes the operating system and all the utilities that enable the computer to function. Applications software includes programs that do real work for users. For example, word processors, spreadsheets, and database management systems fall under the category of applications software.

Top 5 Software Related Questions

1. What is application software?
2. What is systems software?
3. What is software package?
4. What is software engineer?
5. What is enterprise application?

Related Webopedia Articles

Understanding what enterprise application software is and how it works
SOHO Business Solutions: Office Productivity Software
30 Free Web Tools and Open Source Software for Students







TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
DID YOU KNOW?
Small Business Technology Then and Now

Technology for small business has changed a lot in the last decade. But as technology evolves, so do the challenges. Read More »

Windows XP: Move Along, There's Nothing to See Here

After more than 12 years of holding the title of most popular operating system in the world, Windows XP is taking center stage for its final... Read More »

Report: The Role of Big Data in the Marketing Industry

According to a new study from Infogroup Targeting Solutions, we can expect to see companies spend heavily on big data marketing initiatives in... Read More »

QUICK REFERENCE
Flash Data Storage Vendor Trends

Although it is almost impossible to keep up with the pace of ongoing product releases, here are three recent highlights in the flash data storage... Read More »

15 Important Big Data Facts for IT Professionals

Keeping track of big data trends, research and statistics gives IT professionals  a solid foundation to plan big data projects. Here are 15... Read More »

Enterprise Storage Vendors

There's a number of vendors that sell enterprise storage hardware or offer cloud-based enterprise storage. View Webopedia's Enterprise storage... Read More »