FUD

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FUD

(jargon)
/fuhd/ An acronym invented by Gene Amdahl after he left IBM to found his own company: "FUD is the fear, uncertainty, and doubt that IBM sales people instill in the minds of potential customers who might be considering [Amdahl] products." The idea, of course, was to persuade them to go with safe IBM gear rather than with competitors' equipment. This implicit coercion was traditionally accomplished by promising that Good Things would happen to people who stuck with IBM, but Dark Shadows loomed over the future of competitors' equipment or software.
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FUD factor

(Fear Uncertainty Doubt factor) A marketing strategy used by a dominant or privileged organization that restrains competition by introducing suspicion and uncertainty into the marketplace. It is often done by keeping future plans secret and letting the rumor mill take over.

Another approach is to publicly change plans frequently and present a moving target for competitors. This keeps customers from purchasing third-party products for fear they will not interface with the new hardware or software coming from their existing vendor.

Even when FUD is not the intent, what may appear as a strategy is often nothing more than one department not talking to another inside today's gigantic tech empires. Coordinating ever-changing new features and product names with the sales, marketing and advertising departments is not trivial, and no matter how hard they try, companies unintentionally slip up.
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