Freeware is computer software that is available for use at no cost or for an optional fee. [ [ Merriam-Webster definition of freeware] ] Freeware is often made available in a binary-only, proprietary form, thus making it distinct from free software. Proprietary freeware allows authors to contribute something for the benefit of the community, while at the same time allowing them to retain control of the source code, future direction of development and preserve its business potential. Freeware is different from shareware, where the user is obliged to pay (e.g. after some trial period or for additional functionality).


The term "freeware" was coined by Andrew Fluegelman when he wanted to sell a communications program named PC-Talk that he had created but for which he did not wish to use traditional methods of distribution because of their cost. [] Fluegelman actually distributed PC-Talk via a process now referred to as shareware. Current use of the term freeware does not necessarily match the original concept by Andrew Fluegelman.


The only criterion for being classified as freeware is that the software must be fully functional for an unlimited time with no cost, monetary or otherwise. The software license may impose restrictions on the type of use including personal use, individual use, non-profit use, non-commercial use, academic use, commercial use or any combination of these. For instance, the license may be "free for personal, non-commercial use." Everything created with the freeware programs can be distributed at no cost (for example graphic, documents, or sounds made by user).

See also

* List of freeware games
* List of commercial games released as freeware
* List of commercial freeware applications
* Gratis versus Libre


External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Freeware — ([ˈfɹiːˌwɛə]; von engl. free „kostenlos“ und ware „Ware“) bezeichnet im allgemeinen Sprachgebrauch Software, die vom Urheber zur kostenlosen Nutzung zur Verfügung gestellt wird. Freeware ist meistens proprietär und darf daher nicht mit freier… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • freeware — free‧ware [ˈfriːweə ǁ wer] noun [uncountable] COMPUTING computer software that is given away free: • The website is a great place to download freeware. compare shareware * * * freeware UK US /ˈfriːweər/ noun [U] IT …   Financial and business terms

  • Freeware — es un software de computadora que se distribuye sin cargo. A veces se incluye el código fuente, pero no es lo usual. El freeware suele incluir una licencia de uso, que permite su redistribución pero con algunas restricciones, como no modificar la …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • freeware — n. Software made available by its copyright holder for use for an unlimited time free of charge. See also public domain, shareware The Essential Law Dictionary. Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. Amy Hackney Blackwell. 2008 …   Law dictionary

  • freeware — |friuére| s. m. [Informática] Programa informático disponibilizado gratuitamente aos usuários. • Plural: freewares.   ‣ Etimologia: palavra inglesa, de free, livre + ware, mercadoria …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • freeware — /ˈfriwer, ingl. ˈfriːˌweə(r)/ [vc. ingl., comp. di free «libero, liberamente» e della seconda parte di (soft)ware] s. m. inv. (elab.) software gratuito CFR. shareware …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • freeware — (izg. frívēr) m DEFINICIJA inform. računalni program ili datoteka dostupna i distribuirana javnim kanalima na korištenje bez naknade, opr. shareware ETIMOLOGIJA engl …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • freeware — [n] free software public domain software, shareware; concepts 274,660 …   New thesaurus

  • Freeware — No debe confundirse con software libre, en inglés free puede ser libre o gratuito. El término freeware (software gratis del inglés free software, aunque esta denominación también se confunde a veces con libre por la ambigüedad del término en el… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Freeware — Для термина «Free software» см. другие значения. Freeware (/ˈfɹiːwɛə(r)/; от англ. free [of charge]  «бесплатный» и software  «программное обеспечение»)  программное обеспечение, лицензионное соглашение которого не требует… …   Википедия

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