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The term "bespoke" comes from England where it originally referred to custom or tailor-made clothing. In recent years, however, the term has been applied to information technology (IT), and refers to custom services or products.

For example, bespoke software is software customized for a specific purpose. Bespoke programs may include custom accounting software for a certain company or a network monitoring tool for a specific network. Because bespoke software is custom-made for a specific purpose, bespoke programs are also considered vertical market software.

Another area where bespoke is used in the computer industry is in reference to websites. A bespoke website is one that is custom-built, often from scratch, to suit the needs of a business or organization. This may include a custom layout, custom database integration, and other extra features the client may require. Because bespoke websites must be individually tailored to a client's needs, they often take longer to develop and are more expensive than websites built from templates.

Finally, bespoke can also be used to refer to hardware. Computer companies, such as Dell, HP, and Apple may provide customers with custom options for the systems they buy. For example, one person may choose to build his system with a high-end graphics card for video production, while another person may choose a basic graphics card, but may add additional RAM so her computer will be able to run several programs at once. These custom configurations are sometimes referred to as bespoke systems.

Published: 2007

Definition from the PC Glossary