Definition

de facto standard

Part of the IT standards and organizations glossary:

A de facto standard is something that is used so widely that it is considered a standard for a given application although it has no official status.

Here are a few examples of de facto standards:

  • The QWERTY keyboard layout is the standard pattern in countries that use a Latin-based alphabet. 
  • Microsoft’s Windows operating system, along with commonly used business applications such as Microsoft Word and Excel, has long been the de facto standard for business and home users.
  • A breadcrumb trail is a de facto standard website navigation tool that allows a user to see where the current page is in relation to the website's hierarchy. 

De facto standards contrast with de jure standards, which have official status as confirmed by a standards organization.  De facto standards can also become de jure standards over time as, for example, HTML and PDF have done.

De facto, from Medieval Latin, means from fact.

This was last updated in February 2014
Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

Glossaries

  • IT standards and organizations

    - Terms related to information technology (IT) standards, including definitions about IT organizations and words and phrases about policies and compliance.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.