Difference Between Freeware and Shareware

The software is the component of the computers and technology which is required to take input from the users. The software is the program that works at both the front and back ends.


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The software has been developed to many extents. The Microsoft was first one to successfully develop them. After that many new features cane and software evolved.

Freeware vs Shareware

The difference between freeware and shareware is that the freeware is available free of cost to the users while the shareware charges some amount of money to the user. The freeware can be distributed without any license while the shareware can not be distributed without permissions.

Freeware vs Shareware

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Freeware is the software available to the public free of cost. The user sometimes even gets the source code of the software available. The freeware can also be modified according to the features the user may require.

The promotion of freeware on a commercial level is also prohibited. While freeware is the software that can be converted to shareware later.

Shareware is the software that is available to the user for some time or which some features for free. But if a user wants to experience the full version then he or she has to buy the premiere of the software.

The shareware does not come with open-source code and can also be used commercialized using advertisements.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonFreewareShareware
DefinitionFreeware is the software that is available to the users free of cost.Shareware is the software that is available to customers but to use all the features the user has a pay an amount.
DistributionThe distribution of the Freeware can be done without any license.The distribution of shareware requires a license.
DiscoveredThe Freeware is discovered by Andrew Fluegelman.The shareware was discovered by Jerry Pournelle.
Source codeThe source code may or may not be available.The source code is not available.
AdvantageThe software is free of cost.The shareware io s free to some extent.
DisadvantageThe freeware can not be sold even if they are available free of cost.The shareware is the software that can not be modified.
ExampleMYSQL is the best example of Freeware.Winzip is an example of shareware.

What is Freeware?

The freeware was given by Andrew Fluegelman, who wanted to make software that was far away from commercial uses.

The software he developed was for communication purposes globally. Whereas the freeware software can be changed to the shareware.

Freeware was popularised in the late 70s and yet not anyone can legalize the same software under their name.

Freeware is the software that is not promoted using any of the advertisers. In 2015, the Goggle AdWords were restricted from promotion.

The blog and websites are Freeware that can be used for promotion and help the users know its pros and cons. Some many magazines and newspapers also provide the ratings of the freeware based on the surveys.

Freeware is the software that is available to the users without any cost. They are also known as open-source software. Freeware is software that may or may not have the source code available to the public.

Freeware is software that does not require a license and other permission for distribution. The user can also make changes according to his uses.

What is Shareware?

Shareware was first introduced in 1980 and after that, the software gain acceleration and was popularised among the people. The shareware is the software that has certain features open for the users for free.

But, to access all the features the user needs to buy the premiere packs of the shareware. The premiere fees can vary according to the feature or on the months.

The shareware is the way used by the companies to launch the new software to users and take the opinions to the software which would allow them to modify and introduce new features.

The shareware is even commercialized and promoted by various platforms. The blogs and Goggle AdSense can also be used for its promotions. Whereas the platform is also promoted by users on their social media platform.

The shareware is most popular among the gamers as this allows the user to have an experience of the game before buying it. Many updated features of this software are also locked and require payments.

The shareware cannot be distributed without the license. The distribution without permission is an illegal activity and the person can also be sued.

Main Differences Between Shareware and Freeware

  1. The Freeware is available to users free of cost while the shareware charges some amount.
  2. The Freeware can be distributed without any license whereas the shareware distributors need a license.
  3. The Freeware cannot be promoted while the shareware is promoted by various means.
  4. The Freeware source code is sometimes available while the shareware will never share its source code.
  5. The Freeware can be modified by the user but the shareware can not be modified.
Difference Between Freeware and Shareware
  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/job.158
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2699.2006.01645.x
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