Different Software Categories | Freeware and Shareware Software

This post was written and published in order to list and describe the various types of software. Before we get into the description, let's go over the categories.

Open Source Software

The category of software or programming languages whose licenses do not impose a significant number of conditions is what is meant when people talk about "open source" software.

Users of open-source software have the ability to run or use the software for any purpose, to study and modify the program, and to redistribute copies of either the original or modified program without having to pay royalties to the developers who created the software in the first place.

When it comes to open source software, the company that builds its business models around open source software might be eligible to receive payments for support and additional development.

Freeware Software

Free software is software that is not only easily accessible but also free to use, modify, enhance, copy, and distribute by anyone who chooses to do so. In addition, there are no fees associated with the use of free software.

A program is free software only if users have all of these freedoms given below:

  • The freedom to use the program for whatever purpose you like, as well as the freedom to investigate how the program operates and modify it to fit your requirements.
  • The freedom to redistribute copies so that you can assist your neighbour.
  • The freedom to enhance the program and release your enhancements to the public in order to ensure that the entire community benefits from your efforts.
  • The availability of the original source code.

GNU's Not Unix (GNU)

GNU, which is an acronym that stands for "GNU's Not Unix," is a collection of free software that can either be used as an operating system or as application software. GNU can also be used as both.

Because the GNU project placed an emphasis on freedom, its logo depicts a gnu, which is an animal that lives in freedom.

Richard M. Stallman is credited with kicking off the GNU project with the intention of developing a computer operating system that is similar to Unix but not an exact replica of it.

The GNU project has grown over the years, and it is no longer restricted to the development of only an operating system. Not only does it have a lot of software, including apps that aren't part of the operating system, but its interface is also easy to use.

Free Software Foundation (FSF)

The "Free Software Foundation" (abbreviated as "FSF") is an organization that does not operate for profit and was founded with the intention of lending support to the "free software" movement.

In 1985, Richard Stallman established the Free Software Foundation (FSF) with the intention of providing support for GNU projects and GNU licenses.

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has provided financial support to a large number of software developers. These days, it also works on legal and structural issues that affect the community of free software developers.

Open Source Initiative (OSI)

An organization whose mission is to advance open source software is known by its acronym OSI, which stands for the Open Source Initiative.

The Open Source Initiative (OSI) was established in February of 1998, and its founders were Bruce Perens and Eric Raymond.

The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is responsible for establishing the guidelines for open source software and ensuring that its terms and requirements are understandable.

Access to the source code is only one component of open source software. The Open Source Initiative (OSI) requires that the terms of open-source software distribution conform to their definition of open source.


The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), whose primary responsibility it is to create software guidelines for the internet, has that responsibility.

In October of 1994, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) was established with the purpose of guiding the development of the world wide web to its full potential by creating common protocols that would promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability.

The W3C, which stands for the World Wide Web Consortium, is essentially an industry consortium that develops standards and reference software with the goal of promoting interoperability between different products that are related to the World Wide Web. Despite the fact that industrial members provide funding for W3C, the organization does not favor any particular vendor, and its output is openly accessible to anyone.

The Consortium is an international organization that is jointly hosted by the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science in the United States and INRIA in Europe. These two organizations are responsible for both the core development and the provision of local support.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) was established with financial backing from the Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the European Commission (EC), as well as in collaboration with CERN, the organization that was initially responsible for developing the World Wide Web.

Proprietary Software

Software that is neither open source nor freely downloadable is referred to as proprietary software. Its use is subject to restrictions, and further distribution and modification are either strictly prohibited or require the social permission of the vendor or supplier.

The source code for proprietary software is typically unavailable for public consumption.

Shareware Software

Shareware is software that is made available with the right to redistribute copies; however, it is stipulated that a license fee should be paid if one intends to use the software, typically after a certain period of time has passed.

Shareware is not the same thing as Open Source Software, and the main differences between the two are as follows:

  • It is not possible to access the source code.
  • It is strictly forbidden to make any changes to the software.

Shareware was developed with the intention of making software accessible to the greatest number of users possible. This is done in an effort to increase the likelihood that potential users will be willing to pay for the software.

The software is typically distributed in binary format and frequently includes a built-in timer mechanism that restricts functionality after a trial period that can last anywhere from one to three months.

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