de facto standard


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Financial.
Related to de facto standard: De jure standard

de facto standard

[dē′fak·tō ′stan·dərd]
(computer science)
A set of criteria for software, hardware, or communications procedures that is widely accepted because of the dominance of a particular technology over others rather than the action of a recognized standards organization.

de facto standard

A widespread consensus on a particular product or protocol which has not been ratified by any official standards body, such as ISO, but which nevertheless has a large market share.

The archetypal example of a de facto standard is the IBM PC which, despite is many glaring technical deficiencies, has gained such a large share of the personal computer market that it is now popular simply because it is popular and therefore enjoys fierce competition in pricing and software development.

de facto standard

Hardware or software that is widely used but not endorsed by a standards organization. "De facto" is Latin for "in fact" or "that which exists." See proprietary standard. Contrast with de jure standard.
References in periodicals archive ?
Broadly, there are two types of standards: 1) de jure or legal standards -- those officially issued by governments or standards bodies and 2) de facto standards -- those not issued by such bodies but nevertheless considered valid standards because they have been widely adopted by a community of users.