MWM is a lightweight and, by today's standards, extremely minimalist window manager; for example, it lacks support for virtual desktops. A plain text file is used to generate a root menu that the user can customize. Another plain text file controls the colors of MWM's GUI but little else.
Originally, MWM and Motif could only be purchased. The same software was also available as OpenMotif, though not on properly open source or free software terms. In late 2012, Motif and MWM were released under the LGPL as free software.