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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.
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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.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Surface's speculations about the future of WDDA are not likely to end up as vaporware. OCLC has a 30-year record of envisioning and creating content management solutions.
"Reporters are looking for solid news from companies with real products, proven business strategies, and customer success stories, startups that tout vaporware and CEOs still in grade school can't expect to get the coverage they once did."
Microsoft's Internet Explorer was vaporware. A few of your students had access, and the only public lab on campus was probably dominated by other departments.
One purchasing exec sums up the comments of many when he asks that e-businesses "just have the capability to deliver what they promise." A little less vaporware, a little more reality.
As business editors, we at CE are ever admiring the inventive dialect of Silicon Valley wordsmiths, whose ingenuity and humor introduced mainstream nouns like vaporware (much-hyped, but never available software) and coasterware (software so useless it remains shrinkwrapped).
Today the industry is awash in product and system claims from a variety of suppliers, some solid, some little more than vaporware. The industry will only get the full benefit of any technology if the system as a whole moves away from proprietary solutions (particularly on the back end of systems) and toward integrated industry systems.
No drawings!" It was early "vaporware," the product appearing only in an advertising brochure to see if we could get interest.
"Vaporware" is a computer product that--unbeknownst to the buyer--has not yet been created or perfected.
The me-too may tempt you with lower prices, but if the company sells out, those deals could become vaporware.
The committee reviewed both systems that existed in some state of completion and those that existed only as "vaporware." Systems that were assessed as having the potential to scale up to an institution the size of Penn State were selected for further study.