What is a freeware software
Freeware software is a type of software that you can use free for a lifetime.
Freeware vs free software:
You cannot modify code in freeware software and also you cannot distribute software without author permission. While free software can provide you with source code that you can modify and also redistribute the software.
Freeware vs shareware software:
You can use freeware software for an unlimited time. In the case of shareware software, you are given a trial version of the software that you can use for a limited period. After the trial version, you have to purchase the software for further usage. Shareware software has a trial version for users to test the working of software so they become used to it.
Let us now discuss the pros and cons of freeware software:-
Advantages of freeware software
Promotion for paid version:
You can promote your paid software by freeware. If the end-user likes features of freeware then they may need some other features. You can ask for reviews about your freeware software. By getting reviews your software will get authority from users. As more users give reviews the freeware software get the trust of the audience and they would like to get paid version of the software also. The paid version of the software will have more features that will benefit users in their work.
Overcome the costs:
The companies offer freeware software to their users and get their costs recovered by offering some other paid products. Companies get a great audience from their freeware software. Everyone who uses the freeware tends to know the company name. If the freeware of the company gets popular then they get search engine traffic also. Their website gets higher ranking in the search engine. So if they announce any paid software then they get their users easily from search engine.
Students and unemployed people can take advantage of using freeware as they cannot pay higher costs for using any propriety software. The freeware software is used mostly by people that cannot afford paid software.
Use for a lifetime:
Freeware software has no time limit. You can use them for months and years without paying any money.
Shift to other freeware easily:
As you have not paid any cost for freeware you can easily install other freeware software and uninstall previous software. You can choose any type of freeware and test it and use it for a longer time if you wish.
Support from the large community:
As freeware has a large number of users so this software has good support. You can find forums on the internet from where you can get help regarding that software. There are experts on the official website of that freeware software that can help to solve your problem. Not all freeware have good support but most of the popular software has good community support.
Disadvantages of freeware software
If a company is developing any freeware then it needs to consider its maintenance cost. They need to market the freeware software that needs a huge budget. Also, they need to edit and update the freeware for keeping users active. The company have to pay salaries to the employees for the product that is giving no money in return.
In the initial stage of releasing freeware, there arise errors in the software. Some users may contact the company for error removal. The company have to remove errors and bugs from the software for free.
Source code access:
Users cannot change source code in freeware. If they need to add any new feature in the freeware by themselves they cannot do it. Company has locked the code from viewing to the users.
End users cannot redistribute the freeware without author permission. They also cannot own the software and cannot distribute software by their name.
Freeware Owner Company can make restrictions for the software so that it can be only used in the private sector and will not work in public. They can also make rules for using the software within some organizations or within selected countries.
If you want to purchase any paid version of freeware then sometimes they have a different interface for the paid version of the software. So it needs more learning curve to understand the new interface.
All freeware software has some copyright rules. You cannot use freeware if you go against copyright rules.
Examples of freeware software
- Vlc player
- Apache HTTP Server
- Microsoft Edge