main page, file list (584), source, all in md+txt+html+pdf, report abuse, stats, random article, consoomer version


Software (SW) are programs running on a computer, i.e. its non-physical parts (as opposed to hardware); for example an operating system, the Internet browser, games etc. Software is created by the act of programming (and related activities such as software engineering etc.).

Usually we can pretty clearly say what is software vs what is hardware, however there are also edge cases where it's debatable. Normally software is that about the computer which can relatively easily be changed (i.e. reinstalled by a typing a few commands or clicking a few buttons) while hardware is hard-wired, difficult to modify and not expected or designed to be modified. Nevertheless e.g. some firmware is kind of software in form of instructions which is however many times installed in some special kind of memory that's difficult to reprogram and not expected to be reprogrammed often -- some software may be "burned in" into a circuit so that it could only be changed by physically rewiring the circuit (the ME spyware in Intel CPUs has a built-in minix operating system). And this is where it may on occasion become difficult to judge where the line is to be drawn. This issue is encountered e.g. by the FSF which certifies some hardware that works with free software as Respects Your Freedom (RYF), and they have very specific definition what to them classifies software.

See Also

Powered by nothing. All content available under CC0 1.0 (public domain). Send comments and corrections to drummyfish at disroot dot org.