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The changing face of freeware

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1 Author(s)
Edwards, J. ; Mount Laurel, NJ, USA

Whether it's called freeware or open source software, the popularity of software that is either given away or provided at a nominal price along with its source code is growing rapidly. There are numerous examples of popular open source software, including the Linux operating system and the market leading Apache Web server. With its increasing popularity, freeware is beginning to challenge long held concepts about software development and distribution. Developers give away software for a number of reasons. Netscape recently turned Navigator into open source software in an effort to regain market share captured by Microsoft's Internet Explorer (which is also distributed at no cost but without the source code) and to boost the sale of Netscape's server software and related products. Developers also give away software and source code to get users to sample their creations or to encourage independent programmers to enhance a product. In addition, many developers give away software because they support an open, independent “freeware culture” in which software is available to all developers, who can then use, adapt, and improve it as they see fit

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:31 ,  Issue: 10 )