The IT Law Wiki


Commercial software is

software that is available now through lease or purchase in the commercial market from a concern representing itself to have ownership of marketing rights in the software. Software furnished as part of an ADP system but separately priced is included.[1]


"Software embedded in equipment or included in the price of equipment is not considered commercial software. Commercial software ranges from shrink wrapped microcomputer software to highly customized large application packages and provides functions ranging from general systems support to applications focused on end-users.

"Systems software includes operating environment software such as system utilities and application development tools. Applications software includes both generalized tools, such as office automation products (e.g., spreadsheets), and specialized applications (e.g., financial management, payroll, inventory control).

"Shrink wrapped software is completely self-contained. Everything required for using it arrives with the package and little or no modification is required to the target system (i.e., the microcomputer) to install it. The user normally installs it with no support beyond a shared user hotline and the documentation provided.

"Other commercial software requires installation by technical personnel but no modification to the package itself. This is typically multi-user software on a shared platform, such as a minicomputer or a mainframe. It tends to be more complex and typically requires periodic technical support from the vendor or a third party. Customized packaged software is commercial software that provides certain functions "already built," but requires additional software development to provide all the required functions. This kind of commercial software often requires significant vendor services, such as:


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