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clarify instancing types please?

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in directx 10
, i have heard a bout hardware instancing , so im assuming there must be software instancing

there is code in directx DrawIndexedInstanced as well

there is also geometry instancing

so , could any one explain what the term hardware instancing means and in which situations you would use geometry instancing because from i what i can tell its only really usefull for particle systems and billbording
and what kind of instancing would be used for full complicated meshs ?

also remeber a tech demo , were you could choose what kind of instacning was done , but cant remember were or who did it , can any one rememerb , this could answer a feww of my questions

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