Shareware is a method of software distribution which gives users a chance to try software before buying it. If you try a Shareware program and continue using it, you are expected to register. Details vary for individual programs - some request registration while others require it; some specify a maximum trial period. With registration, you get anything from the simple right to continue using the software, to an updated program with printed manual.
Copyright laws apply to both Shareware and commercial software, and the copyright holder retains all rights with a few specific exceptions. The Shareware author specifically grants the right to copy and distribute the software, either to all and sundry or to a specific group. For example, some authors require written permission before a commercial disk vendor may copy their software.
Shareware is a distribution method, not a type of software. You should find software that suits your needs and pocketbook, whether it is commercial or Shareware. The Shareware system makes fitting your needs easier because you can try before you buy. Furthermore, since the Shareware author's overhead is low, prices are generally low as well. Shareware has the ultimate money-back guarantee - if you don't use the product, you don't pay for it.
Home Page | About eDOC | FAQ | Tips | History | Opinions | Authors