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This is basically full-featured computer software available for download at no cost to the end user. There are literally thousands of freeware programs and plug-ins that run the gamut from no-frills basic to ultra-sophisticated. Freeware falls into a sort of middle of the road category between commercial software and open source software. Freeware authors tend to provide what they have programmed for the benefit of the computer community as a whole, while at the same time retaining control over the source code and thus preserving what might at some point become a viable retail product. The only true criterion for being considered freeware is that software must be fully functional for an unlimited amount of time at no cost to the user. However, most freeware authors include some way for users to make a monetary donation to keep the software current.

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