Software, Freeware and Shareware Differences

Software refers to several computer programs and information designed to give a computer directions so that it can perform one or more tasks. Computer software is different from hardware in that the latter is composed of actual physical objects (monitor, keyboard, mouse) while the former is impalpable. Examples of software are application software, shareware, middleware, programming languages, operating systems, testware, firmware, shrinkware, device drivers and programming tools. Software download allows users to obtain this technology, either paying for it, or as a free trial. Shareware, for instance, is provided on a trial basis, meaning that customers may try it for free. If, at the end of the trial, they are convinced of its qualities, they may pay for it and own it permanently. Shareware should not be confused with freeware, which is fully available for use without payment, even though the proprietor may ask for an optional fee, or donation.

The vocable freeware was invented by Andrew Fluegelman when he was trying to find a way to commercialize a communication program, while at the same time circumventing the traditional methods of distribution. What Fluegelman ultimately came up with was the aforementioned shareware business model, but the word freeware stuck, even though it does not necessarily mean what he first envisioned. Freeware is licensed without cost and is either completely functional for an unlimited period; or has only basic functions enabled with a fully functional version available commercially or in the form of shareware. The freeware author may reserve several rights, as well as impose a few restrictions on the user. Antivirus software may or may not be freeware, depending on the developer. An antivirus is used to prevent, detect, and remove malware, including computer viruses, computer worm, trojan horses, spyware and adware. Antiviruses mainly use three methods of identification, signature-based detection, Heuristic-based detection and file emulation.

There is also video software available, which manages the post-production video editing of digital video sequences on a computer non-linear editing systems (any system that performs random access editing on source material). It has taken the place of flatbed celluloid film editing tools and analogue video tape-to-tape online editing devices. Music software, on the other hand, deals with a great variety of functions, ranging from musical composition, audio recording and editing, music synthesis, music playing, music education tools, and more.

In general, this technology can be applied to several different fields, such as business, computer-aided design, databases, decision making, education, image editing, industrial automation, mathematics, medicine, molecular modeling, quantum chemistry, telecommunications, video games and word processing. Even creating davebollinger.com required using some of this technology, and by browsing through the website, you will be able to learn more about it and about its many applications.