People don’t often think about the words software, firmware, and hardware, but let’s explore the first part of each term.
It’s like a sliding scale of permanence.
- Software is the set of user programs running on a system that are designed to be updated often by those users
- Firmware is semi-permanent software running on a system that may or may not be updated often, and usually require a higher level of skill or effort
- Hardware is the physical components of a system that the software and firmware run on, and that are updated least often (if ever)
Software is the most temporary and malleable. Firmware is semi-permanent software that’s tied more directly to the hardware and updated less often, and hardware is the physical components that are most permanent.
Permanence and update change frequency—it’s an interesting way to think about it.