Shareware - what is it List of programs, description of programming principles

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Shareware - what is it List of programs, description of programming principles
Shareware - what is it List of programs, description of programming principles

Most shareware is free, but the author usually asks the user to pay a small amount if they like the app and use it regularly. After sending a small fee, he registers with the manufacturer in order to receive further service assistance and updates.

Shareware (SW) software is inexpensive because it is produced by a single developer and offered directly to customers. Thus, there are practically no costs for packaging or advertising. Before we consider in detail what shareware is, we need to make a short digression into the history of the term.

The history of SW

History of SW
History of SW

In 1982, Andrew Flugelman created a telecommunications program for the IBM PC and called it PC-Talk. He used the term freeware for PC-Talk. A few months later, Bob Wallace developed the PC-Write word processor and called it shareware, which meansshareware.

In the 1980s and 1990s, this kind of software was popular for small developers. The advent of CDs has allowed some of them to present their developments in the form of a collection, such as, for example, the Top-100 Mac Games. Other related collections include utilities, graphics programs, and productivity apps. In many cases, they were fully functional and simply requested donations from users.

Before you understand what shareware is, you need to consider their types.

Types of shareware programs:

  1. Freemium - with a paid extra feature like free-to-play or CCleaner. It is 100% free for standard features, but you have to pay for advanced support, scheduled cleaning, automatic updates.
  2. Nagware - programs that work only for a certain period of time.
  3. Adware is a full featured ad viewer.
  4. Donationware is a fully functional program with voluntary donation offers.
  5. Non-commercial shareware - when a user, for example, treats the author (beerware) or sends him a postcard (postcardware) by mail.

Most SW demo programs can be downloaded directly from the software publisher's website.

Free Software Differences

Free Software Differences
Free Software Differences

Computer software is subject to copyright laws to protect its authors and give them fair compensation for their hard work. Some computer software is free, so it's important to know the difference in software licensing before understanding shareware.

Traditional software licenses mean that the buyer pays the author for the right to use his product on a specified number of computers. This does not en title him to own the software product, modify it, or distribute it to others.

Free Software means the freedom to change source code and redistribute software.

Freeware - The software is distributed free of charge and without an expiration date. The author retains the copyright of the product.

Shareware is shareware that is initially free, but may charge later to unlock or retain functionality.

freeware shareware programs
freeware shareware programs

Before you understand what shareware is, you need to study the overview of options:



Changing the source code

Fully working

Terms of use

Free Software.


Modification and redistribution allowed.





Not allowed, developer retains copyright.

Usually yes.



No initial investment, may be paid later.

Not allowed, developer retains copyright.

Depends on various reasons, some features may be disabled until payment is received.

The program can only run for a short time, such as 30 days.

Shareware Applications

Understanding now what software is called shareware and why some developers and companies see such programming as an alternative way to distribute a product for sale, we can outline the scope. This is what is required for daily work on a PC: office, graphics, security, network. Such programs quickly spread across Internet sites and user groups.

what is shareware programs
what is shareware programs

Many successful commercial programs have gotten off to a big life this way, and some are still being distributed as SW products. These include Qualcomm's Eudora mailer, Jasc Software's Paint Shop Pro image editor, Nico Mak's WinZip unpacker, Ipswitch's WS_FTP Internet tool, and video games.

Some companies, such as Netscape, have built a business by distributing applications for free for personal or educational use while charging for commercial use. Sometimes companies offer their paid programs for free, but with restrictions. This type of product distribution is excellentsuitable for those who want to try the program before making a purchase.

Some developers allow their SW software to be upgraded to a paid version locally using a license such as a product key or license file. Others may use a login screen that contains login information.

Benefits of public programs

Benefits of Public Programs
Benefits of Public Programs

For consumers, the benefits are a risk-free trial, low cost, and personalized support. The benefits for software makers are reduced overheads and cost savings.

Trialware is easy for consumers. The SW program offers instant rewards for both supplier and consumer.

Such software is cost effective. Retail software can be very expensive to manufacture, package, and distribute. Packaging, copying and printing alone can require a huge investment. Advertising costs can be prohibitive.

There is no risk for the consumer, if the trial version does not meet the needs of buyers, they do not spend money on registration. Pre-purchase evaluation of a product also increases customer satisfaction as they gain a complete understanding of the product.

Customers often communicate directly with the developers, requesting feature updates, thereby improving it for everyone. User support forums help beginners make their choice. This allows developersfocus on future updates, while recurring problems, according to the forum members, can be quickly resolved. Software developers who sell products through the SW method have revolutionized traditional support models. Many of the shareware directories provide user ratings and ratings. Often, their feedback provides insight into important feature sets.

Vulnerability to security threats

Vulnerability to security threats
Vulnerability to security threats

Shareware is not always a security risk. It all comes down to how much the user trusts the developer. A poorly executed commercial application can have many more security holes than a carefully designed SW application. What are shareware programs in terms of security? SW is an economic model, not a design or implementation methodology. Thus, good and bad software security can come from any model, and none of them is more or less secure.

However, when it comes to security risks, the user may have more legal options with commercial software. Commercial vendors sometimes attempt to absolve themselves of liability for poorly designed applications through complex licensing agreements, but if the buyer can prove they knew about the security holes, they can sue for damages. In SW-environment, since the client has not paid for the program, from a legal point of view, such opportunities are minimal.

Most commercial application developers offersupport to control security flaws and release patches periodically. Some SW software developers also offer excellent support, while others do not. The latter are amateurs who created a great program, but then moved on to other things, leaving their brainchild orphaned in terms of support. Such programs can become dangerous over time.

Custom Word Document Software

There are enough functional SW word processors on the Internet to replace Microsoft Word. The general properties of Shareware word 2010 (what it gives the user) can be seen on the example of its functionality. For example, a program can edit or view a file with the extension DOC (the default file format used by Microsoft Word 97-2003) or DOCX (the default file format used by Word 2007+).

Microsoft Word mobile app
Microsoft Word mobile app

If you need to create a document from scratch, there are ways to use Microsoft Word or a similar application for free:

  1. Word Online offers a near-full version of the popular word processor from a browser window, allowing you to view or edit documents, create new templates, including calendars, resumes, cover letters.
  2. The Microsoft Word mobile app is available for free download on Android and iOS devices through Google Play or the Apple App Store. The app requires an Office 365 subscription if you want to create or edit documents on iPad Pro. However, the mainFeatures available for free on iPhone, iPod touch, iPad Air, and iPad mini include the ability to create, edit, and view Word documents.
  3. Similar limitations are found in the Android version of the app, where authenticating with a free Microsoft account will unlock the ability to create and edit Word documents on devices with screen sizes of 10.1 inches or smaller.

Free word processor

Apache OpenOffice is another free Microsoft Word replacement that runs on multiple operating systems. This OpenOffice word processor, also called Writer, has long been a favorite of those who want to view, edit, or create DOC files without the presence of Word.

AbiWord free software applications
AbiWord free software applications

AbiWord is one of the well-known free software applications for downloading word documents and comes with a wide range of features, including dictionaries for over 30 languages, a spell checker, and a merge tool. The most interesting feature is that the program is designed to be used on older computers that cannot handle large suites of text editors such as Word.

While free word processing software may not be as good as paid versions, they are sometimes close to that limit and are a great option for businesses and personal computer users who want to put off buying softwarewithout loss of functionality.

Best Graphic Design Apps

Mischief is a SW graphic design software for creating concepts and ideas. Users can create pixel or vector files in Mischief. This tool is compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems. For a one-time fee of $25, users can upgrade to the full version of Mischief. This includes additional features such as layers and custom color swatches.

Best Graphic Design Apps
Best Graphic Design Apps

DesignEvo is a freeware, shareware graphic design program used to create custom logos using vector graphics. This solution was created so that users with no design experience can create products with ease. In addition to being free, DesignEvo offers two pricing plans. The basic plan can be purchased for a one-time fee of $19.99. Additional features in the platform include high-resolution files, lifetime support, the ability to edit and re-upload any file, and more.

The shareware SW program has battled the stigma of misunderstanding for decades. While the enterprise software giants can no longer ignore the marketing potential of the trial, small startups are struggling with new challenges and product costs, and are making headway with users.

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