The Wares Dictionary

minimalist_monitor_and_computer You’ve seen people online throw around all kinds of names for different types of software. Some of the types are nearly obvious just by looking at the name. Most of you probably know what Adware is, but do you know what Crippleware is?

Read on if you’d like to see a few definitions that I’ve pulled from Wikipedia.

Abandonware is a term used to describe computer software that is no longer sold or supported, or whose copyright ownership may be unclear for various reasons.

Adware or advertising-supported software is any software package which automatically plays, displays, or downloads advertisements to a computer after the software is installed on it or while the application is being used.

Commercial software (payware) is computer software that is produced for sale or that serves commercial purposes. Commercial software is most often proprietary software, but most well known free software packages are commercial software, too.

Crippleware is any product whose functions have been limited (or “crippled”) with the sole purpose of requiring the user to pay for those functions (either paying a one-time fee or continually paying a service.

Demoware (also known as trialware) is commercial software released for free (shareware) in a version which is limited in one or more ways.

Donationware is a licensing model that supplies fully operational software to the user and requests a donation be paid to the programmer or a third-party beneficiary (usually a non-profit).

Freeware (from “free” and “software”) is computer software that is available for use at no cost or for an optional fee. The opposite of Freeware is Payware.

Malware, short for malicious software, is software designed to infiltrate a computer without the owner’s informed consent. The expression is a general term used by computer professionals to mean a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software or program code.

Nagware (also known as begware, annoyware or a nagscreen) is a type of shareware that reminds (or nags) the user to register it by paying a fee. It usually does this by popping up a message when the user starts the program, or intermittently while the user is using the application.

Registerware refers to computer software which requires the user to give personal information, e.g an email address, through registration in order to download or use the program.

Otherware, sometimes called requestware, is a collective term referring to software that is not distributed as freeware, shareware or commercial software. Usually, otherware requests the user to do something other than paying to the software author; therefore, it may be considered a type of freeware

Shareware – The term shareware, popularized by Bob Wallace, refers to proprietary software that is provided to users without payment on a trial basis and is often limited by any combination of functionality, availability or convenience.

Spyware is a type of malware that is installed on computers and that collects information about users without their knowledge. The presence of spyware is typically hidden from the user. Typically, spyware is secretly installed on the user’s personal computer. Sometimes, however, spywares such as keyloggers are installed by the owner of a shared, corporate, or public computer on purpose in order to secretly monitor other users.

Warez” refers primarily to copyrighted works traded in violation of copyright law. The term generally refers to illegal releases by organized groups, as opposed to file sharing between friends or large groups of people with similar interest using a darknet.

Do you have any questions about software types? Do you have any ideas you’d like to share? Be sure to add a comment below or email me. I’d love to hear from you.

Published by

Clif Sipe

Promoting Freeware and Free information since 2004. Owner of with over 2000 pages of freebies. Please subscribe to my Google Feed or follow me on Twitter @clifnotes.