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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
de facto standard
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A widespread consensus on a particular product or protocol
which has not been ratified by any official standards body,
such as ISO, but which nevertheless has a large market
The archetypal example of a de facto standard is the IBM PC
which, despite is many glaring technical deficiencies, has
gained such a large share of the personal computer market
that it is now popular simply because it is popular and
therefore enjoys fierce competition in pricing and software