There are a wide variety of places to look to obtain computer software. There are generally three overall types of licenses when it comes to computer software: freeware, shareware, and software for cost. The type of software that encompasses each group is vastly different. The ways in which one would go about acquiring each type of software also vary greatly.
Freeware is software that is absolutely free to the user with no fees at any point in time. A quick search engine search for "freeware" will bring a variety of results for free software. Many programs that cost a great deal of money can be found for free with a freeware version. Microsoft Office, for instance, is a very costly program. The least expensive version of the Microsoft Office software costs approximately $150. OpenOffice, however, offers the same type of program for free. OpenOffice is able to offer this software for free due to contributors donating their work and users donating their funds to keep the website up and running. OpenOffice uses the same coding that Microsoft Office does and allows you to save your documents as Microsoft Office documents. OpenOffice shows freeware at its best since many freeware programs are not very useful nor exciting.
Shareware is software that is free to try, but cost money to buy. Cnet.com offers a variety of freeware and shareware programs. Shareware is a great way to try computer software for free with no obligation to buy it. After trying it out you can decide if you like the software and can decide at that point in time if you would like to move forward with purchasing it. Lots of lesser known brands and software engineers will offer their products as shareware products to allow you to try out the product and get their products and their names used and known without forcing you to risk your money on a product that you don't know very much about.
Software for cost is the most commonly used type of software. This is the software that you are required to buy to use. Most branded software products fall into this category. Computer and electronic stores such as Best Buy and Fry's Electronics are probably the best traditional stores to find software. However, there are many online stores that offer lots of software at a good price, such as TigerDirect.com. Do your own online searching to find some great deals.