The personal computer has changed a lot in the last decade. The combination of the personal computer and the Internet changed everything and the way we buy or get free software has changed too.
Before the Internet and broadband access were available at very low cast for everybody people had to use physical means in order to get software. To buy software you would make a purchase order with a software vendor or a distributor. The software would then be delivered in diskettes or later on a CD. The diskettes or CD would be mailed to you or you would go to a pick up location or the actual store in order to pick them up. At these days free software was hardly available. There were many reasons for that but one of them was the cost of delivery. Since it cost real money to deliver software spending it on diskettes or CDs and on the time and money needed to get them free software was not an option.
Today with broadband internet access available for low price almost anywhere electronic delivery of software is becoming more common than physical delivery via diskettes or CDs. When you buy software today the seller would have two delivery options. One which is free by simply downloading the software over the Internet while the other would cost some shipping and handling fee to receiving a CD or DVD via regular mail. Some software vendors have completely abandoned the mail delivery option and only offer software downloads. There is no doubt that over the Internet download delivery is the best option as it is fast immediate and most importantly cheap.
Over the Internet software delivery opened the door for a whole new market of free software. No longer was there a cost associated with software distribution as bandwidth cost dropped to practically zero. This enabled software vendors to offer free software to users. There are many reasons why vendors would offer such software for example to promote their brand or to up sell a higher end professional version of the same free software. No matter what the reason was the Internet enabled mass distribution of free software that was impossible before.
There are a few ways in which you can look for software on the Internet. One is by surfing directly to the software vendor website. This can easily be done if you know what you are looking who is the vendor that sells the software and what is the website. Another option is to start from your favorite search engine and search for the software surfing to many sites that provide information on it or sell it. Yet another option is to load one of many software directory sites. A software directory is a web site that catalogs thousands or more of software titles providing information on what each software title does and its pros and cons. Some software directories also provide professionally written reviews that can help in deciding which software is best for you.
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