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.