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/vay'pr-weir/ (UK "vapourware") Products announced far in advance of any release (which may or may not actually take place). The term came from Atari users and was later applied by Infoworld to Microsoft's continuous lying about Microsoft Windows.

See also brochureware.


Software that is not yet in production, but the announced delivery date has long since passed. At times, software vendors are criticized for intentionally producing vaporware in order to keep customers from switching to competitive products that offer more features. However, programmers are notorious for being awful estimators of time. As a result, shipping dates often slip over and over again.

Sometimes, the gap between management and technical staff in software companies is just as large as in user organizations. Dates slip because the project is not managed properly, which can be caused by management's lack of understanding of the scope of the project as well as a lack of knowledge of the competence of the technical staff. In addition, as software projects progress from stage to stage, new functions and changes always seem to creep in.

Remember This Well

"As bad as programmers are at estimating the length of a project, they are equally as optimistic about their ability to meet the requirements and deadlines." See wares.
References in periodicals archive ?
At best, vaporware is an honest product announcement that proves inaccurate ex post.
Move along, nothing to see here" continues to give credibility and visibility to vaporware.
From my perspective, and based on two recent experiences, it appears to be an industry-wide practice of vaporware, products advertised merely to gauge customer demand.
A brand-new survey of mortgage industry users of loan origination systems (LOS) asked for honest ratings of vendors on delivery time, customer support, vaporware and functionality.
Signaling both a new direction for the company and new heights for vaporware, Microsoft Corp.
Just as in its Statement of Fact last week (CI No 3,650), Caldera still maintains that Microsoft used vaporware announcements, fear, uncertainty and doubt, exclusionary licenses, intentionally created incompatibilities and misperception of incompatibilities, blacklists and illegal tying to squash DR-DOS, a competitor to its own MS-DOS which is now owned by Caldera.
A company representative stressed that, unlike so many newbie Internet companies, some offering only vaporware, Infonautics is an Internet company with real growth, tangible revenue, and solid distribution channels.
JUPITER COMMUNICATIONS analyst David Card on Microsoft's vaporware announcement of a new "Universal Plug and Play" technology: "Microsoft's answer to Jini is lame, boring, and not attracting a lot of attention.
Stephan Levy's excellent work makes significant strides toward understanding the nature and import of a fascinating phenomenon, and deserves very careful consideration by all involved with what may (or may not) be vaporware.
It seems like what he used to regard as vaporware, but it's not.
VaporWare's document server is a disk storage area (file server) where VaporWare documents for all users are stored, as well as all references to those documents, and any associated management tools you choose to use within VaporWare.