Freeware Reviews - The difference between freeware, free software and open source

Freeware Reviews - The difference between freeware, free software and open source
Perhaps you want to know what the word 'freeware' means. What is the difference between Freeware and Free Software? Is there a difference between free software and open source software? This Freeware Reviews post will break it down for you and explain.

What is Freeware?
Freeware is copyrighted computer software available for zero price which can be used free of charge or for an optional fee, but usually with one or more restricted usage rights, as opposed to shareware where the user is required to pay (e.g. after some trial period or for additional functionality).

Freeware license?
The license may be "free for personal, non-commercial use." Freeware is in contrast to commercial software, which is in usual way sold for profit.

Freeware or Free Software?
Not to be confused with Freeware, Free software is software that can be used, studied, and modified without restriction, and which can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified form either without restriction, or with minimal restrictions only to ensure that further recipients can also do these things and that manufacturers of consumer-facing hardware allow user modifications to their hardware. Free software is generally available without charge, but can have a fee, such as in the form of charging for CDs or other distribution medium among other ways.

Is Freeware "free" + "software"?

According to Free Software Foundation (retrieved 2011-02-16),
"Please don't use the term “freeware” as a synonym for “free software.” The term “freeware” was used often in the 1980s for programs released only as executables, with source code not available. Today it has no particular agreed-on definition."
What is Open Source?
Not to be confused with "Freeware" or "Free Software", Open-source software is computer software that is available in source code form for which the source code and certain other rights normally reserved for copyright holders are provided under a software license that permits users to study, change, and improve the software.

Free and open source software (FOSS). Freeware term does not imply that the software is free and open source software (FOSS). Freeware is a loosely defined category, which includes both closed and open source proprietary software. Members of FOSS community believe that "freedom to use" implies that the end user is free study, and modify, and distribute the software with minimal restriction.

According to GNU.org (retrieved 2011-02-16),
“Free software” is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech,” not as in “free beer.” ... Free software is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software.

Open Source? Another group has started using the term “open source” to mean something close (but not identical) to “free software.” We prefer the term “free software” because, once you have heard that it refers to freedom rather than price, it calls to mind freedom. The word “open” never refers to freedom.
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