One of the web's most popular shareware utilities WinZip has been bought by Vector Capital.
WinZip makes one of the most popular compression utilities - it has been downloaded more than 140m times.
Vector has bought the firm for an undisclosed amount.
But few people bother to pay for the software once the free evaluation period is over. Users should pay $29 for a single user license. WinZip's new owners are likely to improve the firm's ability to make money out of its software.
Chris Nicholson, a partner at Vector, told CNet the company was likely to remind people more strongly to pay but said: "We don't want to be heavy-handed about it." He said the firm may also add exclusive features for subscribing customers.
Vector Capital specialises in troubled technology companies - it bought Corel in 2003. It has previously invested in Flextronics, LANDesk, NetGravity, RealNetworks and UUNet.®