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{{#invoke:Hatnote|hatnote}} Shareware is a type of proprietary software which is provided (initially) free of charge to users, who are allowed and encouraged to make and share copies of the program, which helps to distribute it. Shareware is often offered as a download from an Internet website or as a compact disc included with a magazine.

There are many types of shareware, and while they may not require an initial up-front payment, all are intended to generate revenue in one way or another. Some limit use to personal non-commercial purposes only, with purchase of a license required for use in a business enterprise. The software itself may be limited in functionality or be time-limited. Or it may remind you that payment would be appreciated.

Shareware is available on all major personal computer platforms. Titles cover a very wide range of categories including: business, software development, education, home, multimedia, design, drivers, games, and utilities. Because of its minimal overhead and low cost, the shareware model is often the only one practical for distributing non-free software for abandoned or orphaned platforms such as the Atari ST and Amiga.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

The term shareware is used in contrast to open-source software, in which the source code is available for anyone to inspect and alter, and freeware, which is software distributed at no cost to the user but without source code being made available. Note that two types of shareware, donationware and freemiums, are also types of freeware.


Shareware sections
Intro   Types of shareware   History   Registration   Games  Criticism  Derivatives  Industry standards and technologies  See also  References  External links  

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