[Term of the Day]:Freeware

[Term of the Day]:Freeware

Term of the Day 
 

Freeware 

 

Definition — What is Freeware? 


Freeware is computer software that is fully functional, available free of charge for an indefinite period of time, and is either downloadable from the internet or runs on the internet. Ownership of any freeware is retained by its developer. The developer can change future releases from freeware to a paid product if he wishes so. Also, freeware is typically distributed without its source code. This is done to prevent any sort of modification by its users. Plus, the license with which a free program is distributed may permit the software to be freely copied but not sold. In some cases, one may not be allowed to even distribute the software. While there are countless freeware programs, some have become staples in the online community. Others have changed status over the years to shareware or adware.


The term freeware was coined in 1982 by Andrew Fluegelman. His idea was to distribute a program called PC-Talk free of charge. He created this communication application outside of commercial distribution channels. Andrew distributed the program via a process now termed shareware. Freeware has proven to be an incredible benefit to computer users since online services became popular in the late 1980s. After Andrew, many talented developers started using this platform for several reasons like:

To promote a brand or drive traffic to a company's website.

To generate revenue through advertisements or in-app purchases within the program.

To generate revenue by offering other programs during the installation process.

To provide a "lite" version of a program that may lead users to upgrade to the full-featured version.

There are several sites dedicated to freeware only. Most of the popular download sites, including Tucows, ZDNet, and SnapFiles, etc.