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Microsoft Never Found a Name It Couldn't Change

Every time Microsoft changes a name for no apparent reason (product managers have to do something) I give the company a good, sound beating.

This all starts with code names, which are usually pretty good. That almost always gets tossed for the first real name. After a while the company gets antsy and changes the first real name to the second real name. Think of all the names Windows has gone through. It's been based on versions like Windows 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0. Years like Windows 95, 98 and 2000. Random words and letters such as XP, Me and Vista. And back to numbers, as in 7 and 8.

Redmond columnist Mary Jo Foley is also perplexed by all this and actually began tracking all the name changes in a spreadsheet, presumably Excel -- one of the few products that still has its original name.

One problem is the new name can make an old product appear as if it's just released. Microsoft Account sounds new, but is really Live ID (which I still think of as Passport). Foley also notes that all the Live tools have had their names done away with. And SQL Azure, which sounds pretty cool, is now Windows Azure SQL Database. Catchy, eh?

Posted by Doug Barney on 01/11/2013 at 1:19 PM


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