301-571-5040    Get SUPPORT

Washington Works Blog

Tech Term: What are All These “-Wares?”

Tech Term: What are All These “-Wares?”

When you’re talking about something to do with a computer, you’re going to start hearing about some word that ends with “-ware.” You could probably list off a few yourself, but have you ever stopped to think about why they’re all described as “something-ware?” For this week’s Tech Term, we’ll take a peek at why we refer to things that way.

Why ‘Ware?’
It does seem like a strange part of the word, unless you look back to where we get it. According to Wiktionary, Software was first coined as a term in 1953, and was named based upon the fact that the term for the physical elements of the computer were already known as hardware. A quick peek into the online Merriam-Webster dictionary gives us a few definitions for the root of that word, ware.

The ones we’re concerned with are the first and the last definitions in the first entry: “manufactured articles, products of art or craft,” and “an intangible item (such as a service or ability) that is a marketable commodity.” We can combine these to give us a fair representation of what soft-’ware’ means: “manufactured articles to provide a service that is marketable.” After all, what is a computer program, if not an assortment of code meant to complete a specific task desired by a specific audience?

The word was first coined by Paul Niquette in 1953.

Different Software ‘Wares’
As you may imagine, there are plenty of varieties of ‘wares.’ Wiktionary.org offers a pretty impressive list of software types, with names derived from ‘-ware’, including the ones that you’ve already heard about, and some that are minutely specific. We’ll go over a few of these lesser-known varieties here:

Dreamware - This software type covers those that have not yet begun development and are still in the “what if there was a software that…” phase. Many of these projects never begin development, remaining something that some software developer once dreamt up.

Trialware - This variety of software is that which is only available to the user for a limited period of time, after which it is only available in a restricted form (if at all). This can be considered the free sample of software, offering just enough to make you want more.

Crapware - You know how a new computer often comes pre-installed with programs that you have no interest in, let alone the need for? This is what is known as crapware, as it takes up space without really offering anything to you. Another four-letter synonym for ‘crap’ can also be combined with “-ware” to make another, more forceful term for this variety.

Foistware - Malware can often come bundled with other, more legitimate software titles, to be installed without the user knowing. Of course, other programs can do this as well. Foistware is the term given to these software stowaways.

Fanware - Professionals aren’t the only ones capable of writing code, and even professionals will continue their coding in their off hours. Fanware describes the products that special-interest coders write to promote that interest.

Nagware - Another version of trialware, nagware describes a software title that will interrupt a user with persistent reminders to register it. Nagware will often disable the use of the program for short intervals during use, or display pop-up dialog boxes. In essence, this kind of trialware is designed to coerce a user into purchasing the full version through annoyance.

Garageware - This is a not-so-nice term for software that simply doesn’t perform as it should or has a lot of mistakes. The name is meant to suggest that the creators were total amateurs, developing this program literally in their garage.

Again, this is just a short list of the many different software varieties out there. What other ones have you heard of? Share them in the comments!

Protect Your Business This Year with a BDR
Your Technology May Fail, but You Can Still Succee...


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Thursday, April 18 2019
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.

Captcha Image

Mobile? Grab this Article!

QR-Code dieser Seite

Tag Cloud

Tip of the Week Security Technology Best Practices Business Computing Productivity Cloud Privacy Malware Hackers Network Security Business Email Software Tech Term Internet Hosted Solutions IT Support Data Backup Data Data Recovery Computer User Tips Mobile Devices Google Efficiency Innovation Backup Ransomware IT Services Microsoft Managed IT Services Business Management Hardware Cloud Computing Small Business Productivity Workplace Tips Outsourced IT Managed Service Provider Collaboration Paperless Office Android Smartphone Managed IT Services Business Continuity Encryption Windows 10 Office 365 Upgrade Social Media Remote Monitoring Phishing Communication Server Save Money Smartphones Windows 10 Communications Disaster Recovery Data Management Browser Cybersecurity Government Holiday VoIP Employer-Employee Relationship Passwords Bandwidth Windows Internet of Things Compliance Infrastructure Tip of the week App Saving Money Antivirus Managed Service Scam Information Vulnerability BYOD Wi-Fi IT Management Healthcare Unified Threat Management Work/Life Balance Facebook Quick Tips Business Technology Apps Document Management Automation Risk Management Artificial Intelligence Chrome BDR Big Data Network Mobile Device SaaS Blockchain Hosted Solution Vendor Management Office Password Politics Two-factor Authentication Money VPN Maintenance File Sharing Chromebook Analytics Virtual Reality Word Microsoft Office Applications Customer Relationship Management How To Tablet Health Automobile Bring Your Own Device Website Remote Monitoring and Management Machine Learning Identity Theft Employees Samsung Router Physical Security Twitter Point of Sale Remote Workers Electronic Medical Records Patch Management Telephone Systems Company Culture Computing Wireless Gmail G Suite Robot Regulations Mobile Device Management Data loss Firewall Storage Private Cloud Computer Care IoT Downtime Social Networking Taxes Recovery Remote Computing How To Professional Services Training Access Control HIPAA Data Security Websites Management Tech Support Server Management Settings Virtual Private Network Meetings Hacker Mobile Security Proactive Botnet Alert Smart Technology Cortana Black Market Digital Mail Merge Webcam Employee-Employer Relationship Financial Cabling Project Management Hotspot Assessment WannaCry Shortcut Downloads Test IT Technicians Crowdsourcing VoIP Techology Users Education Mobile Read Only Smart Tech Database Emoji Wires Unified Threat Management Staff Firefox Superfish Gadget Service Level Agreement Customer Service E-Commerce Distributed Denial of Service Notes Hard Disk Drive Bluetooth Spyware Address Comparison Procurement WiFi Vulnerabilities Conferencing Language Internet Exlporer Monitors Travel WPA3 Multi-Factor Security RMM Mirgation Personal Information Avoiding Downtime Relocation Cleaning Connectivity Voice over Internet Protocol Supercomputer User Error Zero-Day Threat Utility Computing Spam Features Managed IT Service Modem PowerPoint Update Specifications Security Cameras Legal Disaster Heating/Cooling GPS Geography Instant Messaging Computing Infrastructure Value Net Neutrality Motion Sickness Fleet Tracking Google Calendar Operating System Time Management Managing Stress Help Desk Permissions IT Budget Printer Backup and Disaster Recovery Wearable Technology Notifications Electronic Health Records Break Fix Cookies Virtual Assistant IT Solutions Web Server Monitoring Black Friday Social Networking Printing Sports Uninterrupted Power Supply Servers Office Tips Tracking High-Speed Internet Finance Alerts Virtualization Windows 7 YouTube Asset Tracking Legislation Augmented Reality Tech Terms Chatbots Computer Repair Network Management Error Enterprise Content Management Bookmarks Fraud Star Wars Managed IT Digital Payment MSP Human Error IT Consultant Cyberattacks Dark Web Nanotechnology Software as a Service Authentication Licensing Upgrades Processors Cameras USB IBM Consulting Cyber Monday Motherboard Search Remote Worker Development The Internet of Things OneNote Mouse Theft Identity IT Support Touchscreen Staffing Unified Communications Favorites Cost Management Corporate Profile Outlook Cybercrime SharePoint Permission Google Drive Gadgets Enterprise Resource Planning Budget Files Microsoft Excel Screen Reader Wasting Time Cables Authorization Cooperation Lenovo Law Enforcement CCTV Dongle Managed Services Provider ROI Solid State Drive Statistics Administrator IP Address Miscellaneous Mobile Office Domains Printers Hiring/Firing CrashOverride Fun Public Speaking Presentation Regulation Emergency Lithium-ion battery Wireless Technology 5G Hard Drives Safety Transportation Marketing Competition