Saturday, January 24, 2009

Freeware: Are they really for Free?


Are there things still for free?

As far as I remember hearing software, hardware, adware, shareware and freeware seemed like the same concept. All of them have –ware in the last part, which I thought was a component of every computer related terms. I almost thought that tupperware is also among them.

Freeware form what I had understand it is some kind of distribution style with regards to software. The term is constantly associated with programs downloaded over the internet. From Wikipedia , there are numerous form or kind of distribution among these is : Abandonware • Adware • Beerware • Careware • Commercial software • Crippleware • Demoware • Donationware • Foistware • Freely redistributable software • Free software • Freeware • Nagware • Open source • Otherware • Postcardware • Registerware • Retail software • Shareware. Seeing from its wide scope, there are really different ways of sharing application or programs over the internet.

I myself, during my earliest years in the Computing World or in the Information Technology age, freeware is a big “NO, NO” for me. I was thinking that all that is given even if in its very lowest rate should be properly compensated. If I am a programmer that create programs would at least have something out of my work. But this perception was very way beyond my head. It was then that I realized, that not all programmers and developers are selfish and greedy enough to create such actions. Freeware as describe in Wikipedia “is computer software that is available for use with no cost or for an optional fee. 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)”. There are also software that are available for grabs without any monetary support. Which I think is a really great idea. The computing world or the virtual world can be seen as a living community where people should helped each other to prosper. Sharing freeware over the net is one of the actions for these cause. As I observed from the construction of some freeware, it is not really complete “free”. I have come up with these because some freeware are still connected to other software that should be included or an added-up. But of course not all freeware are into these construction. Nowadays, more and more freeware are raising into immense numbers, that almost all application have a corresponding freeware. Some of these application and programs are the following: KML Generator 1.24, which this utility can be used to analyze GPS log files containing NMEA string data and then generate Google Earth (TM) compatible KML files, Auslogics Disk Defrag (disk defragmentation) disk fragmentation leads to system slowdowns, PC crashes, slow startups and shutdowns. It is also designed for fast optimization of modern hard disks, Digital Clip Factory creates slide shows using the "Ken Burns" motion effects with, music and transitions. Burn your movies to DVD or publish them to the web. "Pictures say more..." True, if you use Digital Clip Factory application to create those "Ken-Burns" effects you like and export it to a compatible Windows Media File. There is also a freeware called LingoPad which is a Multilingual Dictionary. It contains a German ? English dictionary; other dictionaries (Spanish, Italian, French, Japanese, Chinese, Turkish, Kurdish, Norwegian or Arabic) can be downloaded as well. You can also import your own wordlists and use them parallel to the existing dictionaries. For each dictionary, a user dictionary can be defined to include additional wordlists. Having these kind of software available is a big help for those people who cannot afford to purchase expensive programs.

Some people mistakenly compare FREEWARE, SHAREWARE and Open Source. These three have different purposes as well as unlike definition. Freeware as stated is something that is downloadable without any monetary fund support, the user can create things on what the application is functional for without any expiration date. A criterion was also stated in Wikipedia where “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 graphics, documents, or sounds made by user). Shareware is different since the sharing is free but using it well cost you money. Its like posting an ad and when you contact them and buy from them, it is expected that you must pay. Open Source in the mean time, which I am aware of is also different from these two. Open Source are programs that are free but anyone can alter or modify the content of its source code for future development. It’s like a big project given to every developers in the world. Everyone can have the opportunity to examine the program and if any bugs or defects seen it can be changed. That is the advantage of open source software. There are also many people who can help whenever there is something wrong with the open source application since it is already being viewed by many experts.

So I can say that not all freeware are free. I think that it freeware is also concerned with its difficulty or use. If a freeware is in small packages and do not have any links to other application, then these things are fully free Another thing that may contribute to the distribution of these freeware is it availability. Any people can see different freeware almost everywhere. . But if freeware is given with an remarkable purpose, I think it is associated with other much bigger software which is not for free anymore. I think that all is business when it comes technology. It’s like a strategy to get attention of customers and users.

Reference:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeware
http://www.freewarehome.com/
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-freeware.htm


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2 comments:

freeware is not like free and open source software - it just that in some extent.^^

its "free" in some perspective but again it still does have some reservations..

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