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    SLCentralArticlesArticles May 9th, 2021 - 9:05 PM EST
    A Guru's World #24: The Damn NDA
    Author: JonnyGURU
    Date Posted: October 7th, 2001

    The Damn NDA

    I don't quite understand NDAs.

    An NDA is a non-disclosure agreement.

    In the computer industry, it is not uncommon for a company to obtain product before it is available to the customer. This is important because that company can test compatibility issues, assemble potential builds to make available to their customers in the future, and in some cases "feel out" the product to see if they can find a market for it at all.

    But in testing this equipment, the vendor is bound by an NDA. They are not allowed to divulge what product they have, to the public, because to do so may give them an unfair advantage over the competition, and manufacturers can't put themselves in a position to play favorites.

    For the press, it is not uncommon for a website or magazine to obtain product before it is available to its readers. Websites can test the product so it can tell its readers of the pros (and hopefully not so many cons) of the product.

    But name brands and/or specific models of particular products cannot be spoken before the expiration of an NDA, because to do so would be unfair to the other companies that have similar product on that platform that may also have product at another website that may not have an editor competent enough to write a glowing review.

    Give me a break.

    I've seen some pretty fancy finagling of this aspect of the NDA. One example is Tom's Hardware's review of the i845 chipset before it had come out. He had used a motherboard, which he was unable to disclose the make and model of, to benchmark and give impressions of the chipset. Photos were skillfully edited to show only the Northbridge chip and the new socket 478, but not any aspect of the board.

    I, myself, had several boards and CPUs courtesy of Intel and Biostar, yet was bound by an NDA to discuss much of it. I could discuss so little and Tom's crew had already skillfully covered any information I wanted to share about the i845 chipset.

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