: a computer-related product that has been widely advertised but has not and may never become available
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.
Experts in the computer industry suspected that the vaporware being pushed by the software company was still full of bugs and would never hit the market.
"Kickstarter makes no guarantees on the promises of creators, but is currently implementing policies meant to prevent vaporware and the negative press it kicks up." - From an article by J. Christian Walsh in the Louisville Eccentric Observer, October 24, 2012
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