What is vaporware?

"Vaporware is a practice that is deceitful on its face and everybody in the business community knows it."

-Judge Sporkin in The Wall Street Journal March 16, 1995.

"Let's get real here--this is a very common practice,"

-Gordon Eubanks, chief executive officer at software maker Symantec Corp in The Wall Street Journal March 16, 1995.
Truth or consequences: An analysis of vaporware and new product announcements Barry Bayus, Sanjay Jain, and Ambar Rao, Social Science Research Network Electronic Library


  • Microsoft's past delays 
  • Microsoft in court 
    • Memorandum of The United States of America in response to the Court's inquiries concerning "vaporware" The memorandum submitted by Anne K. Bingaman, the Assistant Attorney General , which denies the court the ability to prsecute Microsoft on issues concerning vaporware because it was not included in the original complaint brought against Microsoft in the antitrust suit. The memorandum solely discusses the legality of vaporware wit hout any specific references to Microsoft. Department of Justice January 27, 1995 
    • Industry debates U.S. vaporware probe Judge Sporkin's analysis or Microsoft's business practi ces reopen the vaporware issue and its use by software companies as a possible tool to freeze the market and "fake out" competitors. A proposed standard is also suggested. Computerworld Feb. 13, 1995 
    • Microsoft and vaporware Great article that brings up many, many good questions, and also in cludes some colorfully frustrating dialog between Judge Sporkin and Anne Bingaman, the chief antitrust prosecutor, as well as Mr. Urowsky, Microsoft's counsel. IEEE Micro April 1995 

Other destructive consequences of vaporware

Vaporware defended

  • Vaporware tactics elicit mixed views Some good statistics on what IT professionals and desktop users think of vaporware's harm to competition, Alleged vaporware practices by Microsoft, and the level at which the government should be involved in regulating software announcements. Computerworld May 1, 1995 

Vaporware listings