Freeware is a computer software that is available at no financial cost to the user. It is often part of a category of computer software (usually a standalone program or series of programs) that allows the user to carry out a series of tasks related to some element of work or play, or some combination of these two entities. Historically, freeware have sometimes been so-called utilities or programs that make easier some element of regular usage of computers in everyday life. This entry provides an overview of freeware, including its origins, the role it plays in contemporary mass media, and opportunities and challenges related to the freeware market.

The word freeware itself is sometimes attributed to Andrew Fluegelman who, in 1982, sought to bypass commercial channels ...

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