Specifications for hardware or software that are developed by a standards organization or a consortium involved in supporting a standard. Available to the public for developing compliant products, open standards imply "open systems;" that an existing component in a system can be replaced with that of another vendor. Although many vendors may have contributed to an open standard, and one may have contributed more than others and even have great influence, an open standard is not completely controlled by a single vendor. Contrast with proprietary standards. See open system, open source and de facto standard.