It doesn’t matter if you have a computer that runs Microsoft Windows or the Macintosh operating system. Either way, when you want to purchase additional software for your computer it can be tough deciding which application to purchase. You hate to waste your money on a program that doesn’t really do what you need it to do or that ends up being difficult to use. Fortunately, there is a good deal of free software that you can take advantage of before you buy.
Software publishers are becoming more aware of the fact that people don’t want to spend a hefty chunk of money for a program before they have a chance for a test drive. There was a time when this lead to people sharing copies of programs and software piracy became a real problem. Many software development companies now provide computer users with free trial programs.
The free software demos of various software programs are a good approach both for the software publishers and also for the end users. By giving people a chance to use a demo version of the application, people have a chance to get familiar with that company’s product line. Most of the time the user needs to supply the company with their email address in order to download the trial software and this allows the company to continue promoting their product.
Different companies put different limitations on the software that they allow people to test drive. Some trial software is fully functional but only for a limited period of time, such as two weeks or 30 days. Other free versions have some of the functions blocked or don’t allow the user to save their work. These limitations can actually work against the company because people never have a chance to get a complete feel for the hardware software interaction and true usefulness of the application.
Software development companies that allow users to have a fully functional demo, free of charge for at least 30 days stand the best chance of the user making a purchase. This gives the user enough time to relax and settle into using the application and if they find it at all useful by the end of the 30 day computer software trial, then they will need to make the purchase so that they don’t lose the work they completed during that time.
There are also some software companies, especially small companies and independent software programmers, that provide fully functional free of charge software downloads that have no limitations at all. This is called freeware and the purpose is either to introduce the user to additional software solutions that the company has or to give the user the opportunity to make a donation. The interesting thing is that many people will “donate” more for a freeware program than they would be willing to pay for a fully functional application.
Across the internet, there are a number of sites that are loaded with a variety of free software titles to download. If you are in search of a software solution, then you can download all the free trials and compare functionality and pricing before making a purchase. However, make sure that you carefully read the terms of the trial and understand how it works, with regard to any files you might have created with the program, so you don’t end up with important work that could end up being “held hostage” if you don’t purchase the application.