Fear, uncertainty and doubt
- Not to be confused with Fudd.
Fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD), is a form of public relations bullshit designed to scare the consumer away from considering an alternate product or service. Gigantic corporations are notorious for it, and business writers are often their willing corporate whores to promote it. The term was invented in response to IBM's bully tactics back in the salad days of the IT industry, before everyone had a box on their desk, but Microsoft is most known for it now, reserving particular vehemence for the open source world.
One example of FUD is vaporware. Suppose a company is trying to market a piece of software that will do X. Microsoft will announce that it intends to bundle its own application that will also do X free in the next service pack of Windows. So customers refuse to purchase the product from the first company, thinking they will get it in free in the next set of patches from Redmond. But the promised Microsoft product never appears.