What is shareware?
Shareware is software that is free to use on an evaluation basis,
typically for 30 days or some other time period. If you like the software you
can pay a registration fee and continue using it after the trial period expires.
If not you simply remove it from your computer.
Shareware can be freely distributed to others as long as you abide by the Terms
of Service set forth by the software company.
Why do software companies offer trial versions of their
programs as shareware?
Distributing a software package as shareware allows the company to get the most
people possible to give the software a try. Many of these trial users will like
the product and pay the registration fee.
Is shareware the same quality of software that you
would buy at retail?
Sometimes it isn't, but most often it is. Some of the most popular programs
available today are distributed as shareware, including the ubiquitous Winzip.
This is where the beauty of shareware really shows - you can try it before you
shell out one cent of your hard-earned money!
Is installing shareware safe? Can it damage my PC?
In recent years, shareware has made the transition from being primarily a cheap
way for part-time programmers to distribute their cobbled together programs to
the mainstream software industry.
Most modern shareware programs are just as professionally built and dependable
as the ones you buy at retail!
Also, in times past, misbehaving shareware programs would sometimes mess up your
computer, but today the "System Restore" feature of Windows makes it
easy to take your PC back to the previous state should something go wrong.
How can I find out what shareware programs are available?
Simply do a Google search
for the keyword shareware!
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