The term software was coined in 195x. And it was an opposite to the term hardware, the physical part of a computer system, which is tangible. But where does the term hardware come from (from which of the meanings was it derived: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/hardware)? Was it transferred from one of those meanings in English or maybe it was borrowed from another language?
mid-15c., "small metal goods," from hard + ware (n.). In the sense of "physical components of a computer" it dates from 1947. Hardware store attested by 1789.
I can't find anything else that goes in to more detail. Seems to me like in a computer sense, the term 'hardware' was simply borrowed.
My interpretation as a computer enthusiast is that 'software' is named so due to its property to have its behaviour changed through reprogramming, whereas 'hardware' must be physically modified to achieve a change in behaviour (for instance, soldering new components).
The terms "soft" and "hard" would have been chosen by analogy to soft or hard materials that can easily or hardly be given a new shape.
As for the "ware" part of the word, it could have been derived from the "dish" meaning of that word. I'm not sure of that, though.
I'm not a Computer Scientist so attempt at an explanation may leave you more confused. A computer, like a desktop or laptop, is essentially comprised of 2 "mechamisms." Hardware and Software. Hardware all the tangible compoments you can hold in your hand and feel it has weight. Software is programs that direct how the hardware components to function, along with the users inputs. A computer or laptop with an Operating System is kind of just a paperweight. It would be a paper weight that made you look busy, tho'.