I'm looking for a synonym for software version where a usable feature was removed:

The new version is a ______, the only improvements are cosmetic, I'm staying at 2.9.

The terms that come to mind are 'downdate' and 'downgrade', but they also mean a return to previous version, regardless of the quality or feature set of current version.

I'm positive there is more specific term which I'm unable to recall.

  • 1
    I think downgrade is correct and that he other term for a downdate is a regression. If you think about physical consumer goods a new model is often inferior to the original for economic reasons. A car maker could launch a new model (lets call it a 'Midas') with leather seats; state of the art sound system; sport, comfort and economy performance modes and so on but find that it was too expensive. They could then introduce a new Midas, still called the same and looking similar but much less luxurious. The new Midas would not be a return to a previous model but would be a downgrade.
    – BoldBen
    Commented Jun 3, 2018 at 12:15
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    Are you asking what it should be called, or what it will be called??
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jun 3, 2018 at 12:21
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    @BoldBen Thanks, 'regression' is actually closer IMO. I like this car example.
    – ordo
    Commented Jun 3, 2018 at 12:23
  • @HotLicks Likely could. I'm looking for proper term for this phenomenon, with no unnecessary emotional colouring.
    – ordo
    Commented Jun 3, 2018 at 12:26
  • If you're not looking for emotional colouring, you need to edit your question to remove the words useless, useful, and quality. As it is, they are pushing answers toward something normative. You are also confusing the issue by mentioning on the one hand something being added and on the other hand something being removed . . . Commented Jun 3, 2018 at 17:03

2 Answers 2


a backward step or a step backwards

Examples in this article at https://ion.icaew.com/itcounts/b/weblog/posts/softwareupdatessometimesabackwardstep

Software updates – sometimes a backward step?
In the meantime….what “upgrades” have you had that have appeared more as a retrograde step?

  • Thanks, my upvote will take effect once I have enough privileges here.
    – ordo
    Commented Jun 4, 2018 at 20:29

When talking about feature removal specifically in software:

  • cleanup (We have cleaned up some of the unused features)
  • obsolete (Removed obsolete features)
  • downgrade (This version downgrades dependent code due to bugs)
  • retraction (We retracted new UI, it was too buggy)

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