Shaun Green looks at how shared software has grown and changed over time.
The story of shareware runs parallel to the tale of the modern PC, from 1980s inception through to the present day. It may be surprising to think that something as innocuous as a method of distributing software can have had such significant roots and have left such a deep impression on the landscape of computing.
Shareware was born of humble origins all the way back in 1982 -just one year after the arrival on the market of the first IBM PCs, the great granddaddies of most modern personal computers. And in one of those odd coincidences that crop up again and again throughout history, shareware was invented almost simultaneously by two men - both Americans and both software developers.