Evaluation version, trial period, and so on
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Inexperienced users often confuse the terms and processes related to distribution of commercial and Try-Before-You-Buy software. We will try to explain it in detail.


Evaluation or Trial period – the period during which you can use the software product for free. It ranges from 7 to 60 days and most often is around 30 days.

Registration key – a personal secret code the user usually receives by e-mail after purchasing the license. After entry of this code, the program becomes fully functional.

Product activationregistration of the product that binds it to the specific computer it is installed on. Activation is usually performed after installation, either automatically by the program itself, or manually, by calling the support department by phone. Activation is generally used for programs that actively work with the Internet, or for products licensed for limited number of computers.

Demo version – a free version of the product that does not contain full functionality, but usually does not have a time limit. The fully functional version is customarily distributed as a separate installation package, which must be downloaded separately after purchase.

Evaluation or Trial version – a free version of the product with full or almost-full functionality, which can be used for a limited time. It allows for a thorough evaluation of the product features and full use during the trial period. To get the full version, a registration code must be entered or the product must be activated. But an additional download is not required.

Registered version – the fully functional version of the product, with no limitations except those specified in the license agreement. It is either downloaded separately or upgraded from the evaluation version by entering the registration code or registering at a special activation server.

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