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Open Source, Freeware and Shareware Softwares

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Open Source software

Open Source software is the software that is available to users with source code. Source code is a part of a program or software. Users can modify, inspect and enhance it to improve the software. Additional features can be added in the source code. Users use source code to copy, learn and share it. An Open source software can either be free of cost or chargeable. Users prefer open source software because of following reasons-
  • More control over the software
  • More secure
  • Stable
  • High quality results
  • Helps in becoming a better programmer as you can learn and develop from the source code to make new softwares.
Examples of open source software are –
  • Apache HTTP web server
  • Mozilla’s Firefox web browser
  • Thunderbird email client
  • database system
  • GNU compiler collection
  • Moodle
  • OpenOffice
  • PHP
  • perl


Freeware software is a software that is available free of cost. An user can download freeware from internet and uses it. These softwares do not provide any freedom of modifying, sharing and studying the program as in open source software. Freeware is closed source. Users prefer freeware because of following reasons –
  • Available free of cost
  • Can be distributed free of cost
  • Some examples of freeware software are –
  • Adobe PDF
  • yahoo messenger
  • Google Talk
  • MSN messenger


Shareware software is a software that are freely distributed to users on trial basis. There is a time limit inbuilt in the software( for example- free for 30 days or 2 months). As the time limit gets over, it will be deactivated. To use it after time limit, you have to pay for the software. Users prefer shareware because of following reasons –
  • Available free of cost
  • helps to know about the product before buying it
  • Some examples of freeware software are –
  • Adobe acrobat 8 professional
  • PHP Debugger
  • Winzip
  • Getright
Shareware are of following types:
  • Adware – Contains ads to generate revenue for the developers
  • Donationware – payment is optional
  • Nagware – reminds user to purchase the license or the software
  • Freemium – free for non-premium but of cost for premium features
  • Demoware – demonstration version. It is further classified as crippleware and trialware.
    1. Crippleware – Some features are disabled under time-limit
    2. Trialware – all features are available under time-limit
Proprietary Software Proprietary software refers to the software which is owned by an individual or a company. There are restrictions on its distribution and use. It is also sometimes known as closed-source or commercial software. Some of the advantages associated with proprietary software are –
  • Stability – Its releases are stable throughout and the software does not crash easily.
  • Reliable – It can be relied upon during handling of critical processes.
  • Uniqueness – It is unique in nature and does not have much alternatives.
  • Compatibility – It is compatible with many Operating systems.
Some of its disadvantages are –
  • It is costly in nature.
  • Source code is not accessible for modification.
  • Redistribution is forbidden.
Examples of Proprietary Software –
  • MacOS
  • Microsoft Windows Professional Edition
  • Adobe Suite

Last Updated : 28 Jun, 2020
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