In-Depth

10 Unnecessary Microsoft Product Name Changes

Why, oh why?

If there's one thing Microsoft loves to do, it's come up with new names. Even "Microsoft" was originally called "Micro-soft." Here we present 10 products whose names really didn't need to be changed.

  • The Windows client went through Windows 1, 2, 3; then years, with Windows 95 and 98 (with a brief experiment with Windows ME); then Microsoft added words or letters after Windows (like XP and Vista); finally, the company has gone back to using numbers with Windows 7
  • Windows Mobile 6 is now Windows Phone 7
  • Windows NT is now Windows Server
  • Office Communications Server is now Lync Server 2010
  • Hotmail is now Windows Live Hotmail
  • Search went from MSN Search to Windows Live Search to Bing
  • Business Productivity Online Suite is now Office 365
  • Microsoft Office Groove is now SharePoint Workspace
  • On the Enterprise Resource Planning front, Solomon, Axapta, Great Plains and Navision were all changed to include "Dynamics," becoming Dynamics SL, Dynamics AX, Dynamics GP and Dynamics NV, respectively
  • SoftGrid became App-V

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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Reader Comments:

Thu, Dec 30, 2010 Tom

I agree that Windows probably should have stayed with numbers (e.g. Win 7) and OCS name should have remained, but I think the name changes: BPOS to Office365, and WinNT to WinSvr are improvements.

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