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> Freeware -vs- Warez
marko
Nov 11 2007, 05:25 PM
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Freeware –vs- Warez!

It wasn’t that long ago that the internet was a place for sharing, a place where you could quite easily, happily (and not to mention legally!) download a variety of applications and utilities fit for a specific purpose. Nowadays, it would seem that the corporate monster has taken over transforming what was once a virgin playground into a massive sales pitch with everyone grabbing a piece of the action and saturating the net with their spiel!.

As net years pass, new idea’s and ventures appear. The net has given birth to a whole new generation of entrepreneurs, eager to sell or offer some form of service or product and whilst this kind of growth continues and will continue for some time, we also see increasing trends in other areas such as blogs, forums, social networks and probably the most lucrative of all … Warez!.

Warez has had a massive impact on net users and their attitudes. I say attitudes because many warez users, in particular the younger generation, don't actually see the problem with warez and are more than happy to browse the vast array of such sites, registering with one after another in the hope of searching and finding something new and exciting to download!.

More recently however, the authorities and in particular the media giants have began waging a war on such sites and the people behind them, and in some cases pursuing those utilising the sites, however my personal opinion is that although they may be making an impact on a small scale it is seriously unlikely that they will win the fight outright for some time to come!.

That said, I have been confused for some time now as to why people find Warez so lucrative and although I can understand the ‘something for nothing’ mentality I was never truly able to justify the risks involved in Warez. As an IT pro I often find that the vast majority of internet users complain that their computers run slow or become unresponsive only to find that they have contracted an endless array of adware, spyware and viruses through browsing the various warez sites. As soon as they have functionality back and they’re off to the warez sites again!.

I found out about ‘freeware’ some time ago and have admittedly came across some truly shocking examples of it, although I have also been stunned by the level of commitment and skill amongst the freeware world.

The term freeware is often associated with simple or inadequate solutions and rarely used by the home user, although the vast majority of freeware is well written, compiled and tested thoroughly. I personally and professionally have used freeware for many years now and know of many who also followed suite and admittedly, whilst we have the odd clanger filtering through there are 10 great titles which follow it!. Put it another way, freeware authors do not have deadlines to meet, budgets to consider and senior management to please whereas the commercial authors do. In my opinion, this means freeware authors are, at the very least, producing work just as good as commercial authors, and often we find it is actually better!. Freeware can often fit a particular need whereas commercial software can over-complicate the matter offering 10 tools when we need only 1.

With all the hype of the authorities cracking down on those sites and individuals who participate and gain in illegal file sharing and distribution could it be that freeware is now the sensible alternative?. Freeware vs Warez, what do you think?
 



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