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Shareware is software that is made available for free but has restrictions on its functionality and accessibility, requiring a fee from the user to fully utilize it.

It is a version of the software that lacks some essential functionality; customers must pay to obtain the essential features.

Shareware is also referred to as commercial software that is distributed freely to users but is only usable for a limited time before the user is required to start paying for it.

The owner of shareware software usually shares the software with users for a limited time of trial use.

The user is required to pay for the software in order to keep using it beyond the trial time.

Types of Shareware

There are several types of shareware software, including demoware, adware, freemium, crippleware, nagware, and donationware.

1. Demoware: This is simply a cut-down version of a software that allows users to try the software before purchasing it.

Most demoware limit the time that users can spend using built-in time functionalities, or allow users to use the software up to a certain limit.

Trialware is another name for demoware.

2. Adware: Adware means advertisement-supported software.

Adware is essentially software that shows ads to users to earn money for its developers.

Customers are given access to adware software for free, but the developer makes money from the advertisements.

3. Freemium: The word freemium is a combination of two words, namely; free and premium.

Therefore, a freemium software is one that includes a free basic version for users but also has some premium features that users must pay for.

In other words, freemium software has two parts: the basic version, which is free of charge to users, and the premium version, which has more advanced features and requires payment.

4. Nagware: This software is nagging. That is, the software never stops displaying alert messages urging the user to purchase or register the program unless you do so.

The alert messages are shown to the user either on starting the application or while he is using the software.

The user sees the alert message either when he launches the application or while using it.

The alert notice will stop appearing once the user purchases or registers the software.

5. Crippleware: A severely limited software is called crippleware.

Users of crippleware can only access some features of the software until they pay for it.

Most photo and video editing software are crippleware.

6. Donationware: This is software that allows users to use software for free, with users having the option of donating to the developer of the software.

In other words, donationware is software where users are allowed to use software but with the option of donating some money to the developer of the software or a third-party organization.

Advantages of Shareware 

1. It allows customers to initially use the software.

2. It allows users to fully comprehend the software prior to purchasing it.

As a result, if a user doesn't like the software, he won't buy the premium editions.

Disadvantages/threats of Shareware  

1. Because free shareware versions are not updated regularly as the premium versions, they may be exposed to security risks..

2. Freeware users may see advertisements that contain malicious content.

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