Pocket PC freeware is software that is offered for a nominal donation or free-of-charge. The software is created to be compatible with operating systems on pocket pc products, smartphones, palm pilots, and other mobile devices. Most freeware is fully functional and completely free of charge or obligation.
Although pocket pc freeware is offered to the public at no cost, the copyright is held by the developer. This allows him to hold onto the distribution rights, maintain control of modifications, and — if he chooses — to sell the program in the future. Free software, in contrast, is free to use, modify, and redistribute with modifications. This is a significant distinction.
It is also important to distinguish pocket pc freeware from open source software. Open source software offers the source code for free with few, if any, restrictions on its use. If this type of software is offered without cost, it may be considered free software, but is not freeware.
When searching for pocket pc freeware, a person will likely encounter programs termed shareware. These are similar to freeware, but may require some type of payment after a trial period. Some shareware is limited, or trial-based, so that users may sample the program prior to the purchase of the fully functioning version. These often cease to work after a prescribed trial time limit. Occasionally, shareware will have multiple pop-up reminders to prompt the user to register and pay for the software.
Developers may choose to release their software as freeware to entice users to purchase other, fee-based products that they offer. Another reason for software developers to offer pocket pc freeware may be that the developer is no longer making a profit on the product. Motivation for offering freeware might simply be a desire to share their work.
An online search for pocket pc freeware will generally yield thousands of results. Many websites offer freeware in a variety of categories, including games, education, multimedia, desktop software, and file tools. Often, these sites will have forums for discussion of the available programs and help with troubleshooting any issues.
When downloading pocket pc freeware, it is important to check the system requirements for compatibility with the program. For example, a program for use with the Palm Operating System® will not work on a Windows Mobile® device. If the information is not clear, contact the author or developer. Frequently, screenshots, installation instructions, instructions for use, and user feedback are available. These can be very useful in determining the value of downloading the application.