Electronic software distribution - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Electronic Software Distribution (ESD, also known as Digital distribution) refers to the practice of allowing users to download software products electronically (and primarily over the Internet) as opposed to receiving physical media. Although not all software vendors discount the prices of electronically distributed software from the price of the physically distributed versions, such a discount is common, as electronic distribution can typically be much less costly for the vendors than its conventional counterpart.

ESD as a service can be further broken down based on straight purchase of the software (above) and try-before-you-buy (TBYB). TBYB allows the consumer to trial the product for a length of time or number of activations and then, through the software interface, purchase the software from the publisher.

ESD services are broken down into several components including Digital Rights Management (DRM), Trial Management and the Transaction or eCommerce component. Each of these services can be purchased and managed as standalone components or they can be outsourced through 3rd party companies.

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