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Speaking of Names...

Everyone likes to tease Microsoft for its painful product branding practices, especially when you get late-inning name changes like those to SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition.

In his blog Capricious Optimism, Microsoft Software Design Engineer Chris Smith wrote about some of the best Microsoft code names, and we can't help but think there might be an inverse relationship at work here. The more dramatic the code name, quite often, the more opaque the final product name. So the menacing and exotic Tarantula becomes Internet Information Server, the playful Zamboni becomes C++ v4.1, and the promising Nemesis ends up as Windows Media Encoder 7.0. More recently, Windows Presentation Foundation was Avalon, Windows Communication Foundation was Indigo and the euphonious .NET 3.0 Framework was WinFX.

What are your thoughts on code names? Do you have any favorites you'd like to share? And what advice might you give to Microsoft's branding politburo as they struggle and strive to name a host of products? E-mail me at [email protected].

Posted by Michael Desmond on 02/07/2007 at 1:15 PM

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