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1 definition found
 for lock-in
From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) :

  lock-in
  
      When an existing standard becomes almost impossible
     to supersede because of the cost or logistical difficulties
     involved in convincing all its users to switch something
     different and, typically, incompatible.
  
     The common implication is that the existing standard is
     notably inferior to other comparable standards developed
     before or since.
  
     Things which have been accused of benefiting from lock-in in
     the absence of being truly worthwhile include: the QWERTY
     keyboard; any well-known operating system or programming
     language you don't like (e.g., see "{Unix conspiracy"); every
     product ever made by Microsoft Corporation; and most
     currently deployed formats for transmitting or storing data of
     any kind (especially the Internet Protocol, 7-bit (or even
     8-bit) character sets, analog video or audio broadcast
     formats and nearly any file format).
  
     Because of network effects outside of just computer
     networks, Real World examples of lock-in include the current
     spelling conventions for writing English (or French, Japanese,
     Hebrew, Arabic, etc.); the design of American money; the
     imperial (feet, inches, ounces, etc.) system of measurement;
     and the various and anachronistic aspects of the internal
     organisation of any government (e.g., the American Electoral
     College).
  
     (1998-01-15)
  

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