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Shareware Dead? A Bit Late, Slava

Slava Karpenko, admired h4x0r for various Unsanity plugins and MacAssed, errr, MacAST, is a bit late in proclaiming shareware dead. Clue to Slava: shareware died when the Internet became popular. As many MacAddict discs as are dumped on the world per month, the truth remains that the way "shareware" was "shared" - giving your friend a floppy disk with some demo product on it - simply isn't done anymore.

Nowadays, being tagged with the flag "shareware" can be a death warrant to a lot of people or small companies. "Shareware" means "please steal me." "Shareware" is too vague. There is a range of product types: commercial software, demo software, trial software, crippled software, single-user software, web software, donation software, free software, open source software. "Shareware" could encompass many of those, perhaps, and the fact that it's so vague doesn't help its cause at all.

The age of person-to-person "sharing" is gone - anyone can download their own copy from the developer's website, or from anonymous sharing channels. More often than not, the only things being shared these days are hacks and cracks.

Look at my company's products and you'll note three varieties: free, cheap, and commercial software. Are we a shareware company? No. Is Unsanity? Nope. Is anyone? I can't think of any… So yeah, "shareware" is dead. The term may live on, unfortunately, but "shareware" itself no longer exists. It all died right around 1994, as best I can peg it.

3 Responses to "Shareware Dead? A Bit Late, Slava"

  1. The end of shareware?

    I must say that I hesitated between calling my product "shareware" or "low-priced commercial software". In the end I went with the "shareware" tag, so as to not give the wrongful impressions of a larger company with a help desk and huge support resourc...

  2. Is Shareware Dead?

    Slava Karpenko Erik Barzeski Rainer Brockerhoff Daniel Sandler Steven Frank At present, I call my software shareware. By that I mean that it’s free to try and isn’t crippled, although it will nag you. Users get support directly from me, an...

  3. F*** the Mainstream

    Shareware may be dead, but who cares: indieware is alive and kicking!