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Software Marketing terminology explained:

Alpha: Software that is so buggy that even the beta testers won't install it.

Announced date: The date the product manager hopes to go on vacation.

API: A function library with more than 200 minimally distinguishable entry points.

Beta: Software that isn't quite finished, as in "beta late than never."

Chief Technology Officer: The guy in charge of the PowerPoint slide show.

Fact sheet: What's left of the specification after the product ships.

Focus group: Buying drinks for market analysts.

Fully compatible: Same old features.

In manufacturing: The programmers are still "manufacturing" features.

In shipping: Someone in the 00000 ZIP code has a copy -- most likely the product manager's brother-in-law. No one else will get a copy for weeks.

Industry insiders: Disgruntled employees after one too many drinks.

Long-term planning: What will happen when the new marketing VP is hired.

Market research: Buying drinks for customers.

Memory leak: What the company president remembers telling the market analysts.

Minimum system requirements: The oldest PC anyone could find in the company storeroom.

Multitasking: The ability to crash several programs at the same time.

Multithreading: The ability to crash a single program in several ways at the same time.

New and improved: Totally incompatible.

On schedule: Will include a coupon in the box for the missing pieces.

Online help: Call the psychic hotline for technical support.

Open architecture: The developers didn't finish half of what was in the spec.

Press leak: The company president speaking to market analysts.

Press release: What the marketing department thought was being built. Often confused with the specification for the next version.

Release candidate: Software built just before a major holiday.

SDK: A development system without documentation.

Short-term planning: Meeting payroll.

Strategic partnership: A couple of second-rate companies that cannot afford to merge.

Trade secret: Another way to say "we don't have the source code."

Upwardly compatible: Lots of new bugs.

User friendly: Lots and lots of gratuitous bitmaps.

Visionary: CEO who has not yet bankrupted a company.

Windows 95 compatible: The 1993 feature set, two years later.

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