Difference Between Software and Computer Program

Software and computer programme are the two terms, related to the field of information technology, which are often used interchangeably in daily routine. Although, they appear to be quite similar to each other, but there are some differences between the two terms.

You must know that software is a very board term as compared to a computer programme. It includes programmes, data and other files of the system which are being used to fulfil certain commands according to the requirement of the user. On the other hand, a programme is just a set of instructions which are being executed by the computer.


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    It is a set of instructions which are readable by a machine (most commonly a computer) which directs the processor to perform certain operations on command. Furthermore, it is a term which is directly opposite to the computer hardware which we can see and touch. In order to fulfil the tasks of the computer system, hardware and software work together.

    There are two basic categories of software namely system software and application software. System software can be defined as the software which is the basic requirement (i.e. operating system) of the computer without which it cannot operate. There are many kinds of operating systems which mainly include Windows and Mac OS X. In contrast, application software includes all the software which are used to perform some specific task which are beyond the limits of the system software e.g. Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop and Java.

    - Image courtesy: gettyimages.co.uk

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    Computer Programme

    It is just a sequence of instructions which are written so as to perform some specific task with the computer. The instructions of the programme are executed in the central processor of the system. Moreover, the computer programme can also be executed directly on the computer.

    The computer programme allows the users to create different kinds of algorithms in order to fulfil certain tasks as per their requirements. If you gather different programmes and their data files, it will be referred as the software. In addition, the computer programmers write the source code of the systems. The source code can be converted into an executable file by the help of a compiler. You can also use an interpreter to execute the computer programmes or to embed them directly on the hardware.

    - Image courtesy: gettyimages.co.uk

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