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Chapter 22. Third-Party Utilities > Understanding Freeware, Shareware, and Demo...

Understanding Freeware, Shareware, and Demoware

Programmers write computer programs for many reasons: for fun, for profit, as demonstrations, as self-educational projects, or to solve some computing problem that they have noticed. However, not every program has the commercial appeal of, say, an Intuit Quicken or a Microsoft Word.

Sometimes programmers choose to make their programs available to others free. When they do so, it is understood that the programs are available on an as is basis with no warranty and no support from the programmers if some kind of problem occurs. If the program does something useful for you, that's great. If it doesn't, at least it didn't cost you anything. Note that programs distributed free—often called freeware—usually still carry restrictions that you cannot modify the program in any way and that the programmer's original copyright must be left intact. You are typically also free to give copies to others, although you need to examine each program's copyright notice for details because they vary from program to program.


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