Let's say, DirectX 4.0 is never released; Microsoft launches DirectX 5.0 instead. So DirectX 4.0 is like a very special version of DirectX that is never made public for whatever reason.

Is there a word for an act like this (preferably a verb), or for an unreleased version of that kind (preferably a past participle)?

More generally, you have made a product, version 1.0. But you decide that it should stay unreleased. You make a better version 1.5 and release that one. Is there an apt word that describes (what happened to) version 1.0?

  • 1
    I hope the question is more complete and intelligible now. I apologise for posting a vague question previously. I was in a hurry when I first posted this. Sorry.
    – user19341
    Commented May 16, 2012 at 11:33
  • Unreleased is the word you are looking for.
    – renegade
    Commented May 16, 2012 at 12:22
  • I had people in my previous office use a word that perfectly describes this with a touch of humor. We called it a Betaflop
    – Thor
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 18:18

3 Answers 3


You might be looking for shelve:

to decide not to use something such as a plan or suggestion now, although you may use it later

or scrap:

to decide not to continue with something such as a plan or an event; to get rid of something

  • Shelve, definitely.
    – Karl
    Commented May 16, 2012 at 4:57
  • 1
    Shelve is probably the best word, but in a slightly different context, you might also 'skip' a version number as well to bring it inline with other products on the same (higher) version number. What 'skip' doesn't imply is whether or not that version of the software was changed along with the version. Commented Oct 17, 2012 at 11:09

In the automotive world these are referred to as concept cars

Prototype almost works, but typically a prototype is an early version of something that is intended to be released to the public, while the proof-of-concept is really just for internal use and is never intended to be released.

Another option is to refer to these as in-house products. Many companies will develop in-house, proprietary, tools that they use themselves but never intend to sell.

  • Thanks but I'm looking for a verb.
    – user19341
    Commented May 16, 2012 at 11:37

If it was a good thing, you'd probably say the earlier version was superseded before it could be released. To be more precise, it stayed in-house, remained experimental or under development, never shipped, never released, never made it past beta or alpha, etc.

To paint it negatively, you'd probably say the first version was vaporware.

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