Hype is unjustified, excessive discussion and usage of a technology or concept.
There is usually hype at the introduction of any new technology, but only after some time has passed can it be judged as true hype or justified acclaim. Because of the logistic curve nature of technology adoption, it is difficult to see at this point whether the hype is excessive.
The two errors commonly committed in the early stages are:
- fitting an exponential curve to the first part of the growth curve, and assuming eternal exponential growth
- fitting a linear curve to the first part of the growth curve, and assuming that takeup of the new technology is disappointing
In an extreme form hype does not relate to an actually existing product. Software that is hyped before it exists is sometimes called vaporware.
Hyped technologies have included (in roughly chronological order):
- Computers (in inappropriate uses)
- Paperless office
- Microsoft's Windows operating systems, particularly Windows 95
- Push technology
- Sun's Java programming language
- Sun's network computing
- Year 2000 problem
- Apple's iMac
- Dot-com companies
- The Internet generally, especially in commerce and education
- Free software community's Linux
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