commercial off-the-shelf software ⇝

commercial software


(Or "commercial off-the-shelf software", COTS) Software that is produced for sale. This contrasts with free software, which is produced for free distribution, meaning without charge and/or without restriction on further distribution.

Some companies that sell software distribute some (versions) of products free of charge (but usually with restricted distribution rights), this would probably still be called commercial software. Conversely, software that an individual distributes for free, but for which he accepts donations, would still be called free software.

Last updated: 2007-02-07

Nearby terms:

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