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About Shareware

What is shareware?

Imagine being able to drive a new car for 30 days before paying for it. If you don't like the car -- the seat isn't comfortable, the mileage isn't as good as they said, the color clashes with your tulips -- you just return it to the dealer and there's no charge. You only pay for it if you decide to keep it.

Yeah, right, you say, that never happens in the real world. Oh, yes it does -- that's exactly what shareware is!

"Shareware" is a method used by software publishers to market their products. The phrase "Try Before You Buy" is more descriptive. Shareware is good for you because it allows you to try out software to see if it fits your needs, to make sure it works as described, and verify that it works on your computer. Shareware is good for software publishers because of its low cost.

So shareware is free software, right?

No! Shareware is NOT free software - it is software that you can try without obligation. If you try a program and find that it doesn't do what you want, just delete it and you don't owe anyone a cent. However, if you continue to use the program, you must register it.

Why can't I just try it out for a really long time?

First, it is illegal. Shareware programs come with licenses that state the conditions under which they can be used. By using the software, you accept the terms of the license. Continuing to use the software after the trial period is a violation of this license, which makes you liable to criminal prosecution and fines.

Second, many shareware programs (including ours) stop working after the trial period ends. This is one of many incentives that authors use to encourage users to register.

Third, registration entitles you to additional benefits, such as technical support. For example, when you register any of our products, you'll get a year of technical support at no charge.

Fourth, the price is right. Compare the prices for shareware with the prices for shrink-wrapped software at computer stores. Then compare the features and quality of the products and you will see that shareware is a bargain! By avoiding the overhead of retail marketing, shareware authors are able to pass the cost savings on to you.

Finally, registration fees are what keep software authors in business! If we don't get paid for our work, there is no reason for us to produce new products. It is in your own best interest to register the programs you use today so that you will be able to choose from a wider variety of quality software products tomorrow.

But how can I tell whether a shareware program is any good or not?

That's the whole point of shareware -- you can try it out to be sure before you invest any money.


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