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Shareware and Freeware : Quick Guide

Jul 31, 2008
The latest trends in the technological world undeniably concern updating and upgrading the components of one's computer. One way to achieve this is by acquiring the most efficient and popular softwares available on the market.

This 'race' has led to the constant invention and innovation of softwares by software developers in order to satisfy the growing clientele. Hence, various softwares dealing with programs ranging from mp3-convertors, music players, games and business-related softwares are being created everyday to satisfy an ever-expanding demand caused by the advent of booming internet usage and the fact that locating a required software is quick and easy; just a few clicks away, in fact. One is sure to get what he wants.

Most websites about software downloads, offer two types of software : freeware and shareware , both of them freely available for download.

Software that can be downloaded for free is called freeware. The characteristics of these types of softwares are distributed absolutely free of costs. In addition, they are completely functional, there are no absent features and they do not lack options like "help" . Also, there is no time-constraint on them. Once downloaded, the users can use them indefinitely. Thus, the interested user simply has to download the programs he wants. A wide variety of freeware programs are available on the internet. For example, free audio player softwares are available for younger people and it is a major advantage as youngsters may not have the necessary funds to buy shareware.

Another type of software available for download is shareware as mentioned above. The full version of this type of software is not free. In fact, developers of shareware programs usually provide a free trial version of the full final version. These demos or limited versions and lack options, perform only a part of the tasks they have been made to accomplish or are available only for a pre-defined period of time. In this way, users can have a 'taste' of the product before deciding whether to purchase the full version or not. This is an interesting and practical marketing strategy as it implies that no overly expensive advertisements costs are incurred and the services of a middleman to secure sales are not necessary.

Moreover, it is a win-win situation as customers also gain as they can test part of the programs and they can deal directly with the developers. Furthermore, payments are made easily for the full versions via credit cards. Therefore it is expected that profitability level is quite high. However, it is to be noted that, as in every business, risks are involved in shareware. Indeed, people may not respond positively towards some software programs .
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