Names for Longhorn Server

A comical take on what we might expect from Redmond when it releases its new server -- whenever that may be.

Like it or not, we all know the Longhorn client has been named Windows Vista—at least pending the result of any legal action. But, there's been no word yet on what the server version of Longhorn will be called—which means there's still time to offer up ideas for Microsoft to consider (or at least there was as of press time). I asked readers to do just that, while offering up a few of my own.

10. A Rose by Any Other Name
Asked what he would name Microsoft's new server OS, Kris Ruiden, a senior software engineer for Ascentium in Spokane, Wash., summed up the thoughts of a number of readers when he said, "Umm, 'Longhorn Server'?" Clearly these folks don't understand that Microsoft has a hefty marketing budget that needs to be exhausted.

9. Ode to Arnold
A number of folks suggested something having to do with "Hasta," but the most biting came from Gerry Fitzgerald, IT director at Clean Way Inc. in York, Penn., who offered: "Considering the rapid replacement of Windows with Linux servers, 'Hasta La' might be the best choice to go with 'Vista.'" Ouch.

Windows Cruiser8. Windows Cruiser
When I first heard the name "Vista," I immediately flashed back to the early 1970s, riding in the rear-facing third seat of our Vista Cruiser station wagon, where my parents put their youngest offspring to gently roast in the sun under the oversized windows that gave rise to the car's name. Brother Joe and I would quickly become lethargic and stop fighting. On second thought, maybe that's not such a great name for a server.

7. Feel Like a Number
Lots of folks want to see Microsoft get back to basics and slap a number on Longhorn server, with most favoring the number 7.0—even if that means skipping 6.0 which, potentially, would be next, although it's hard to tell what number follows NT, 2000 and 2003. As Redmond contributor Jeremy Moskowitz puts it, "I'm going with 7.0 because it just sounds sexier."

6. Street Legal
After the flap over the name Vista, which brought threats of lawsuits from the Veteran's Administration, among others, Microsoft might want to try a more direct approach with Longhorn server: PleaseDon'tSueUs Server 1.0.

5. Windows AltaVista
This might be the antithesis of PleaseDon'tSueUs Server. Although AltaVista would nicely complement the Vista client, there is the small matter of that old Digital Equipment Corp. search engine of the same name, which is now owned by Overture Services Inc. I know—I Googled it.

4. Windows Pane Server
Is it a pun that serves as a reflection of his low expectations, or is he being serious, playing off the "Windows" name? "Definitely a play on words," says Greg Cripe, a systems engineer with nFrame in Carmel, Ind., "I'm working on my MCSE in Server 2003 and feeling great pain."

3. Windows Server "Phew" Edition
That's "phew," as in, "Whoa, hey man, like, are we really done? I can stop coding now? What year is it? Do I still get free Jolt? I need my Jolt, man! Oh, God, don't take away my Jolt! Bill, dude, they're trying to take my Jolt!"

2. Windows Hork 3D
This suggestion from Geoff Web, a senior development analyst in Derby City, England, is largely nonsensical and yet somehow perfectly logical. "People always ask, 'What does Hork mean?' I tell them to use it in a sentence and it explains itself. 'Windows is Horked up.' Then they say, 'Yes, yes it is.'"

1. Windows Cairo
It's the code-name that wouldn't die. Or is it the server that wouldn't ship? In either case, Microsoft can put all the bad jokes to rest by using the Cairo name for real. That will doubtless start another endless round of bad jokes—but sometimes you have to sacrifice for the greater good.

More Information

You can take a gander at a list of all the code-names Microsoft has created for its new technology over the years.

Click here to check out tongue-in-cheek fake ad for Windows Vista

Wondering what "Hork" means? Go to the Urban Dictionary to read up on the definitions.

Hey, Hey, Hey, She's a Server
Thomas Jones, a network engineer for Key Bank in Cleveland (who I presume avoids going by "Tom," unless he's short on women's underwear), has the name thing all thought through. "Vista means view, which is appropriate for a client software that allows the user to view what is offered by the server(s). So, it seems logical to me that the name for the server should represent what the client can view. In its grandeur, Microsoft should call the server 'Mundo.' Thus the client:server analogy would be Vista:Mundo or, a view of the world."

Enormous Windows Server
Inspiration for this goes to the Tank McNamara comic strip, home of Enormous State University (ESU), where excess is expected. Longhorn will likewise be home to excesses—whether it's the number of lines of code, the massive amount of memory and other resources you'll no doubt need to run it and, hopefully, if Microsoft doesn't continue to gut it, features.

Windows Vista RF
Ordered by the courts to leave certain things out of the European version of Windows XP, Microsoft in a snit wanted to call it "Windows XP Reduced Media Edition." Now, given that one of Vista's supposed "core technologies," WinFS, was pulled, "RF," as in "Reduced Functionality," makes sense. Hey, it was willing to do it once already …

Windows AT
This suggestion is from "Pete," and IT speciazlist somewhere in Alaska, who says the AT stands for, About Time!

Status Quo
"Being from Texas, the choice is obvious," says W.D. Burwood,a tech director in Woodville, Texas. "Don't change it at all. Imagine, Windows Longhorn Server. The default desktop background color is Burnt Orange. Instead of the "window" on the Start button, the Texas Flag. Sure beats the heck out of Windows Vista Server."

Yearning for Years
"Before the creative juices started flowing the ESP kicked in and I had a vision," says Steve Harper from Michigan. "They paid the research and marketing department 3.5 million bucks and they came up with Windows Server 2007. Money well spent!"

About the Author

Paul Desmond, the founding editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine, is president of the IT publishing firm PDEdit in Southborough, Mass. Reach him at [email protected].


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