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Types of ESD

There are several types of ESD. Each one has to do with the underlying piece of software that is being sold via download. For each major type of software there are actually specialized ESD tools and processes used to implement it. Current candidates for ESD are computer software, documents, graphics, audio, and video.

Computer Software

Any piece of computer software can be sold online and this is certainly the biggest part of the ESD revolution. In some ways computer software has been distributed electronically for quite some time. The concept of shareware and "try-before-you-buy" marketing of programs has been used by many developers for more than a decade. With shareware, the developer produces a piece of software that in some version is given away for free. Sometimes the free trial version lacks certain features or only works for a certain period of time before the customer must pay or lose use of the product. Other times customers are simply on the honor system. The developer often offers an enhanced version (and perhaps services, like free updates) to paying, registered customers.


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