View Full Version : What's the differences between a Demo, a Freeware version, and Shareware?
11-02-2004, 04:12 PM
I understand that Shareware is a try-before-you-buy markettng method.
But what are the differences between:
i) a demo of a full product (like many retail games do),
ii) a freeware version that is limited but points to a full product,
iii) a shareware version that can be registered for a full version?
They all appear to be the same thing to me, but why are different names used? Am I missing something?
11-02-2004, 05:05 PM
but why are different names used?
11-02-2004, 05:29 PM
A demo is a halfway product of Freeware, Shareware and any other software, to give the customers who are interested the preview of the software. It demonstrates the basic or part of functions of the software.
Sometimes Trailers are also called demoes.
The difference between Freeware and Shareware is:
Freeware (itself) is not for profit purpose. It's created for other purposes, such as study, challenge, fun, gift to some friend, etc.
Freeware could be used to get profit. Winamp is such an example.
Shareware is of course for profit purpose.
Shareware always has registration function. This is to let Shareware developers get paid.
Most Freeware doesn't have registration function. However, they could have it, if the developers wants some kind of information of the users, such as the amount of the users.
"Try-before-buy" is of course one characteristic of Shareware. However, the essential difference between Shareware and retail software is the distribution method - Shareware goes from Internet while retial software goes from shopes. This results in many differences between Shareware and retail software.
Please correct me if I'm wrong.
11-03-2004, 10:20 AM
A demo/trial version versus shareware version is pretty interchangeable. The term "shareware" is starting to dissapear as the traditional sharing / swapping approach is dissapearing as a method of distribution (back in the day before broadband and the world-wide-web, the idea was that you just shared copies of the game with all your friends - swap the disk around, let everyone install it).
A freeware version is TYPICALLY an older version of commercial software. Maybe someone came up with a project that was originally freeware, enjoyed popularity, and decided to release a commercial version of it. You can't just yank the old freeware version - once it's out there it's out there. So they'll typically re-name / re-brand it in some way --- and may make some efforts to 'hide' the old freeware version.
An example of this would be LithUnwrap (now called "Ultimate Unwrap" I think).
11-03-2004, 12:31 PM
Again it’s marketing. As Coyote mentioned, shareware is on older term that is going away. For one, a lot of people still don’t understand exactly what “shareware” means, but they do seem understand terms like “demo version” and “full version”. Secondly, the terms “shareware” and “freeware” sometimes have a connotation of “amateurish” to it, even though there’s tons of “professional” shareware out there that is better than their competitor’s offerings that are only sold retail.
Powered by vBulletin™ Version 4.1.3 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.