Part of the Computing fundamentals glossary:

Abandonware is computer software (such as an operating system , word processor, interactive game, or audio file) that is no longer marketed or distributed by the company that created it, but is obtainable from some other source. Some popular products that have been at least temporarily abandoned include NeXTStep, the operating system for the NEXT computer; OpenStep, its successor; and many interactive games that were replaced by more sophisticated products. In some cases, a company or Web site gets permission from the creator to distribute the abandoned program; but sometimes they don't. To use abandonware that you download, you often need a license string that the software recognizes as entitling the user to install it. In this case, the downloading site provides a license string that is known to work.

Abandonware is often provided as freeware or as priced shareware .

This was last updated in November 2010
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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