Fear, uncertainty and doubt

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Fear, uncertainty, and doubt, or FUD, is a form of public relations propaganda intended to frighten consumers away from considering alternate products or services. Some notable international corporations are notoriously known for using such tactics, and a class of business writers who are willing to generate well-written FUD have been labeled as "corporate whores", a term that was originally invented in response to IBM's bully tactics[1] back in the salad days of the IT industry.

Many years later, after it became overwhelmingly common for companies to have a computer at almost every employee's desk, Microsoft became better-known for FUD due to their particular vehemence for the free open source software movement. One example of FUD terminology is vaporware: Suppose a company is trying to market a software product that provides feature X. Microsoft will announce that it intends to bundle its own application that also provides feature X for free in the next Service Pack for the Windows Operating System, leading to customers deciding not to purchase the alternate product with the expectation of getting feature X for free with an upcoming round of patches from Redmond, but the promised Microsoft product never appears.

In security, FUD can also stand for "Fully Undetectable", as in a virus that can't be picked up by antivirus software, like the rootkit the NSA has on your computer.

[edit] See also

[edit] Footnotes

  1. One of the original definers for the term itself was SERIOUS about this stuff, and it stuck in usage for this reason.
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