What is shareware?
Shareware is software that is distributed by companies to users free of charge. Thereby it is at least partially free of charge, because this software is usually only available for a limited time. Here, the potential customers are supposed to get interested in the trial version of the product in order to buy the full version later.
Maybe you remember the time when you received CDs in the mail with an offer of free software. Some of these software developers even had the intention that you share them with your friends. This principle is called Shareware. Nowadays, most laptops are not even equipped with a CD-ROM drive.
This makes it more difficult in today's world to use this method of free CD's profitably for a business. However Shareware in the form of software downloads at the present time is still very lucrative and efficient for companies.
Therefore, there are many websites that offer you a free trial of the software for a limited time. This has the advantage that after the trial period is over, the users do not want to miss out on the benefits of the program. This often makes them interested in buying the full version.
What types of shareware are there?
Shareware can be divided into numerous subcategories. So can Shareware for example, advertising-supported software or "adware", which is supposed to display advertisements to the user. This has the purpose of generating revenue for the owner. Another type is called demoware, where it is only a demo version of the software.
Often, it is a trial version with a fixed period of time ("trialware"). In other cases, the entire functionality of the application may be disabled, so that you can see all the features, but you would have to pay for them ("crippleware").
Furthermore, there are also "freemium"Sharewarewhere some features are available in the free version, but you have to pay to unlock the full functionality.
Although Shareware is a good option for anyone who wants to test software before committing to a purchase, you should still be careful. This is because cyber criminals are all too willing to take advantage of people's eagerness to get something for free.
This promise of free software is a common social engineering tactic they use to trick Internet users into downloading malicious software.« Back to Glossary Index