lock-in

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lock-in

[′läk ‚in]
(electronics)
Shifting and automatic holding of one or both of the frequencies of two oscillating systems which are coupled together, so that the two frequencies have the ratio of two integral numbers.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

lock-in

(standard)
When an existing standard becomes almost impossible to supersede because of the cost or logistical difficulties involved in convincing all its users to switch something different and, typically, incompatible.

The common implication is that the existing standard is notably inferior to other comparable standards developed before or since.

Things which have been accused of benefiting from lock-in in the absence of being truly worthwhile include: the QWERTY keyboard; any well-known operating system or programming language you don't like (e.g., see "Unix conspiracy"); every product ever made by Microsoft Corporation; and most currently deployed formats for transmitting or storing data of any kind (especially the Internet Protocol, 7-bit (or even 8-bit) character sets, analog video or audio broadcast formats and nearly any file format).

Because of network effects outside of just computer networks, Real World examples of lock-in include the current spelling conventions for writing English (or French, Japanese, Hebrew, Arabic, etc.); the design of American money; the imperial (feet, inches, ounces, etc.) system of measurement; and the various and anachronistic aspects of the internal organisation of any government (e.g., the American Electoral College).
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)
References in periodicals archive ?
Kevin's Bar has denied this allegation and said it does not hold "lock-ins" or play music at unacceptable levels.
Step back and consider the architecture, the lock-ins, the security risks or limitations that you might trade in for a quick solution or platform.
The pub had its licence suspended more than once over problems with lock-ins and out-of-hours drinking.
Manhattans, on Stockton High Street, was reprimanded by Stockton Council earlier this year after it was found to be hosting lock-ins, one of which ended in violence.
He's overseen several 'lock-ins' after matches this term, in which everyone concerned is invited to air issues in the open.
Instead of old-fashioned pub lock-ins they were there for freebies, deals, discounts and fun.
Virtual Network Services operates on a utility based contracting and billing model; providing network functions in an "as-a-service" fashion, without the associated devices or vendor lock-ins.
Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC) has launched Lincoln Max 6 Select Advantage, offering investors a combination of 6% Income Base growth that stacks on prior account value lock-ins, and access to a diversified lineup of investment options with up to an 80% allocation to equities, the company said.
The sad fiasco confirmed what most of us have long suspected: UKIP meetings are basically lock-ins in the back room of the Worst Pub in Britain, the terrible, ruined faces of the participants, slumped over the Scotch bottle and sour ashtray, forever two seconds away from someone shouting "SQUARE GO!", from the sound of a beer glass being broken off the bar or a pool cue snapped across a knee.
The theory behind the "lock-ins" was to show how they were on-air"unlimited" all-day, illustrating T-Mobile's key marketing message that its customers arefrom the limitations of data plans.
The court heard that in October 1996 it had become the practice to have lock-ins at the Plough, which has since closed as a pub.