Definition of vaporware
: a computer-related product that has been widely advertised but has not and may never become available
vaporware was our Word of the Day on 11/01/2013. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
The practice of marketing products before they are available for sale is common to many industries, but especially the computer industry, where technological advancement is rapid and competition cutthroat. Unforeseen glitches occasionally result in the marketing of products that ultimately never see the light of day. Since the 1980s, such phantom computer products have been referred to by the word vaporware, which is modeled after familiar computer terms such as software and hardware. The word plays on the humorous notion of vapors being equated with rumors surrounding the development of a product that appears to be on its way but that never actually materializes.
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