What Does Crudware Mean?

Crudware is a type of freeware and software marketing tactic in which large quantities of beta, trial, freeware or limited software versions are freely distributed or promoted on websites, social networks and related online communities. Crudware is used to lure and motivate prospective customers into purchasing a complete or paid version of software, or even malware.


Techopedia Explains Crudware

Because crudware is used to trick a user into installing software, it is often criticized as malware or useless software. Typically, crudware is highly publicized or promoted through the Internet via online communities and discussion forums, where a user may write blog posts, share catchy signatures, post advertisements or participate in other attention seeking activities. Once a crudware application is executed and installed, a user is forced into buying the complete version to access application features.

Crudware also may be distributed at events or gatherings to promote one or more new software products.


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Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.