Talk:Commercial software

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Sold equals Commercial?[edit]

The article needs to include software that isn't available for sale in traditional ways, but is still used for commercial purposes. The pairing of advertisement with Internet services is an example.

"Commercial purposes" is now included in the intro. --69.54.29.23 16:37, 24 November 2006 (UTC)


"Commercial software, or sometimes payware, is computer software that is produced for sale". We don't sell software, we sell license for use it. Of corse it is able to sell software but this is only sold software, the author just loose his rights. Interesting in this article is fact, there is 3/4 of free and open source application under "Commercial" subject...

Why do we have this article?[edit]

Aside from the fact that this article cites no sources, I'm not sure that it makes sense to have this article at all. "Commercial software" does not have a single unified meaning, and the meanings that it does have are those you would come up with by interpreting the two words separately. This should probably be made a disambiguation page with links to the equally vague categories of Intellectual property, Software licensing, Proprietary software, Business software, and stuff like that. Of course, that will create a big disambiguation problem, but presumably that will get us closer to an encyclopedic article. Alternatively, if there is a meaningful, and documented, article waiting to be written, someone can do that. Dpv 19:54, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

The article now leads with "Commercial software is computer software sold for commercial purposes or that serves commercial purposes." This isn't optimal, but it's better than what you cited. --69.54.29.23 16:36, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

I think this is a fine solution. Linking off to software is not. Other wikipedia articles need to link to "commercial software" for issues like licensing discussions without creating a huge distraction. They need a link out page to an encyclopedia definition + further links. The discussion from March where "commercial software" is being used to mean software for commerce is (AKAIK) a minority usage of the term and not the primary usage. jbolden1517Talk 15:16, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Ok, so either improve the article's material, or propose a better redirect. The page you reverted to is now largely at retail software, for better or worse. --75.69.87.211 17:36, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Is that proposed redirect (Proprietary software acceptable? jbolden1517Talk 22:26, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
No. See the discussion further below, and Gronky's suggestion of Business software instead. RossPatterson 00:01, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Well yeah but that's at best a minority usage. If you want to defend Gronky's suggestion I'd like a cite that the majority meaning for commercial software is business software rather than proprietary software. jbolden1517Talk 01:34, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

This article shouldn't exist[edit]

I agree with Dpv (above). This is not a coherent topic. Software is neither commercial or non-commercial. Activies can be commercial or non-commercial. I can pay nothing for some software and then sell it to someone else, or I can pay for it and then give it away, or I can pay for it and then use it while doing my day job - in which cases and at what points did the software turn into "commercial software" or not? Meaningless. Gronky 18:58, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Actually, nothing links here. So I'll just make it a redirect to software. Gronky 19:00, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
What? I get links. See Special:Whatlinkshere/Commercial software. I'd prefer hanlding this article in the same manner as business software, no? --75.68.201.229 21:21, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
You're right about there being links. I must've clicked the "what links here" on this page instead of the article page. Are you the same person as below? Gronky 17:03, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
As much as it is not a coherent term (and I think the Wikipedia article represents this, although only subtly) and is used incorrectly in many contexts, it is still a commonly used term (correctly or incorrectly) and therefore deserves an article. Does it not?
I'm reverting the redirect for this reason, and because of the confusion of whether the article was linked to (which I see it is also via retail software and shrinkware redirects). --69.54.29.23 16:58, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Are you the same person as above? It is not a term. It is an adjective and a noun, just like "red car" or "big pencil" - they are not terms either, and they don't get encyclopedia entries. Gronky 17:03, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I've checked a sample of what links here and they only do so wrongly such as: "In 2004 it was released as commercial software". This just bad use of English. It might have gone on sale in 2004, or it might have been released commercially, but it never became "commercial software" because that term does not exist and the word pair has no coherent meaning. Gronky 17:07, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Some comment[edit]

You've only proven my point. It is used incorrectly. I've fixed many articles that use "commercial software" when I think the intention was "proprietary software". I'm not suprised there are some that still exist. I hate to do reducto ad Google, but http://www.google.com/search?q=%22commercial+software%22+site%3Aslashdot.org+OR+site%3Amicrosoft.com --69.54.29.23 20:35, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

No one ever contested that the words are used. The issue is that they do not form a term. Any google search comparison will show that "red pencils" is a set of words that has been used on the Internet, but that does not make "red pencils" a topic. Gronky 23:34, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Future of the article[edit]

This article should exist, but what was here before the redirect was completely wrong. "Commercial software" is software for commerce, just like "scientific software" is software for science (e.g., SPSS, MATLAB). SAS started out as scientific software, but is marketed these days much more as commercial software. The old article assumed that "commercial software" meant "software that is sold", not "software that is used for commercial purposes".

Commercial software can be freeware, open source, proprietary software, etc., just like editors, operating systems, or any other category. In fact, there are some very lively open source commerical software projects, like SugarCRM.

Until and unless someone decides to write an article about software used for commercial purposes, this one might as well stay as the redirect it has become. RossPatterson 23:06, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

The definition at the end of the first paragraph: "software that is used for commercial purposes" - describes an incoherent, non-noteable topic. All software sometimes fits that definition and sometimes doesn't. It's also easy to see that it's meaningless by replacing "software" with "pencils" or "chairs", these definitions make incoherent and meaningless topics.
So I'm saying that this article shouldn't exist because this topic doesn't exist. The existence of this article brings down the quality of wikipedia and causes people to wrongly link to it, thus confusing readers by pointing them to a meaningless article. Gronky 23:32, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I think Ross is talking about business software. I've moved most of the material to retail software, since that is what the article was largely about, anyway. I'd be fine with pointing the redirct to "business software". I'm satisfied at this point with not making an article on the term "commercial software" because of the obvious confusion issues. --71.169.143.192 23:46, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I was actually going to suggest that this article be renamed "business software", after we agreed on a definition. I didn't know that such an article was already written. So how about we move any non-duplicate content from here to business software and retail software and then just make "commercial software" a redirect to business software? Gronky 00:07, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I didn't notice the "business software" article either. It needs work, but that's a good place to redirect this one to. RossPatterson 04:07, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Are there still any objections to making this a redirect? Is anyone in favor of keeping the article? --75.69.87.211 14:47, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

No, as far as I can see and remember, there are now no objections. Actually, I thought somebody had actually made it a redirect. I just checked back now to see if it was still a redirect, so I'm surprised to see that it was never a redirect :-) I'll make it a redirect now. Gronky 17:58, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Ok to make it a redirect again?[edit]

I see an anon changed this from a redirect to a stub. Other well-intentioned editors then did some clean up, but I see no comment added here disagreeing with the Talk page consensus that this should be a redirect. Was this page changed from a redirect for a good reason? Would anyone object to me changing it back to a redirect? --Gronky (talk) 23:43, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

The redirect is kind of misleading, IMO; the term "commercial software" is not used mainly to refer to software used for business purposes, like SAP or something like that. Rather, it's more often used to distinguish commercial from non-commercial uses. For example, Intel licenses a free version of their icc compiler for Linux that prohibits its use in compiling commercial software---they clearly don't mean "business software", but rather "software that will be sold". --Delirium (talk) 04:47, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
I completely agree with Delirium. This article should describe what the different views on "commercial software" are - not try to change the definition. Wikipedia isn't in that business. WalterGR (talk | contributions) 07:17, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
No one's contesting that. The problem is that "commercial software" doesn't mean anything. I think Delirium is right that the most appropriate content for this to point to would be a discussion of commercial use vs. non-commercial use. That's certainly a topic worthy of an article, but I don't know if wikipedia has an article on that topic. Gronky (talk) 08:17, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't think there is one at the moment, but I agree one could be written. There's non-software stuff to talk about too; for example, a lot of open-access journals allow redistribution of their articles for non-commercial purposes, and a number of music groups allow distribution of recordings of their concerts for non-commercial purposes. Someone would have to find sources that discuss this issue, though, to avoid it being original research. --Delirium (talk) 09:23, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Let me try an analogy, for better or worse...
Claiming that "commercial software" doesn't mean anything is like saying that "God" doesn't mean anything. To some people, that's true. But it's more accurate to say that - like "God" - "commercial software" means different things to different people/groups. And some people/groups argue that - like "God" - "commercial software" doesn't mean anything at all.
Now I'm not trying to make this a religious argument, but that's the first analogy that came to my mind. And if you look at the God article, I think it's a pretty good one: the article provides several definitions of "God" and even has a section on the existence of God altogether.
To bring it back to reality, "commercial software" is
  • often used to mean "software that you buy"
  • As above, sometimes it's used to mean "software for commercial (or non-commercial) use"
  • Sometimes it's used to mean some category of software distinct from free and open source software
  • The FOSS community argues, "Look, free and open source software can be sold too, so the term doesn't really mean anything"
Different viewpoints clearly exist, so that's what we need to discuss in this article. WalterGR (talk | contributions) 09:28, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

I've brought back the stub, since the consensus seemed to be to write something about the term. I noticed, other language Wikipedias use the term. --Ashawley (talk) 20:15, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Wikiproject Computing[edit]

I have removed the WikiProject tag, as this article is either a redirect or deleted. If you oppose, please restore the tag. Thank you, fahadsadah (talk,contribs) 16:10, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Restored tag, per discussion above.
BTW, redirects can have WikiProject banners too. Some WikiProject templates allow a "Redirect" class and some redirects serve a useful purpose to certain wikiprojects. So the WikiProject templates shouldn't be removed just because it's a redirect. -- œ 07:43, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Merger proposal - Payware[edit]

I've rarely have heard the word payware but for all intents and purposes commercial software and payware are the same. I suggest Payware article to merged into this article. Fleet Command (talk) 08:17, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Agreed, doing. ~ 10nitro (talk) 03:04, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Standard Software is a much better title[edit]

I think what we should differentiate is Standard software or Custom made software as the first general point.

So the first level is Software and under it Standard software and Custom made software.

The general idea is to create Standard software wikipedia-title, is Software made for multiple number of independet users, while Custom made software is designed for one user or specific user group. Standard software should be pointed out has nothing to do with software standard that is something completely different.

The Standard software group will have under it proprietary software or open-source software but also commercial software or free software. Because all are Standard software but with huge difference in the major basic characteristics (four distict kind of SW in combination of the four) and none are valid aspects of Custom made software. It all might be the same article with different chapters and under-sections.

I think the first step is to rename this article Standard software!

I think that is a much better solution. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 37.247.9.228 (talk) 04:43, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

While such a top level ontology indeed might make sense, unless you can cite a credible reference to such a definition this cannot be done. See Wikipedia:No original research. Also, commercial software and free software are not antonyms, indeed, a lot of free software is commercial. You probably meant gratis software, as in no cost. Palosirkka (talk) 16:01, 10 August 2013 (UTC)