If the Live team was responsible for branding Windows Vista

Microsoft Windows XP 07 for Workgroups Plus! Ultimate Extras 32-bit & 64-bit editions with advanced security & internet explorer built on XP technology

This brand would bring together the emotional connection from many existing and loyal users of Windows for Workgroups, Windows 95 with Microsoft Internet Explorer, Windows 95 PLUS!, Windows 98, Windows 98 PLUS!, Windows 98 Second Edition, Windows NT Workstation, Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows SP2 with Advanced Security. Our goal is to make sure people feel comfortable knowing some part of their legacy operating system still exists within Windows Vista (as above).

This will be a great way to tackle OS X, which has had the same uncommunicative name in the last 4 major releases. It just baffles me how people know what OS X 10.4 contains. Shouldn’t it be OS X SP4 64-bit edition with Spotlight & iChat AV & Dashboard and Quicktime 7 technologies?

Update: Using highly sophisticated nuclear physics, Stefan Ventura has calculated by 2018, the Microsoft email service will have 59 letters in its name. Now there’s a unique brand we can all identify with.

17 insightful thoughts

  1. In my opinion, it’s the way each company decides to say to the world what they do.
    The better example is this video, it’s funny but true:
    (it was an internal-only video made by Microsoft’s packaging team)

    There’s a similar case with processors: Intel is very clear with the CPU speed definition, but AMD easily confuses users by naming processors con numbers higher than the speed (3200, 2800, etc).

    Marketing technics…

  2. You forgot two important ones: ‘Millennium’ (because many users have been very happy with it for years) and ‘For PCs’ (maybe with an extra ‘and virtual machines if you buy the more expensive editions’).

  3. @Geoffrey: I don’t think legal would even approve of “Millennium” in the name. πŸ˜›

  4. So true! When Windows Live was announced, i thought its a great idea (Xbox Live, Office Live, Windows Live…) But now, it is extremely confusing. MS should not name every service but only “Windows (the logo) Live”. Why did MS have such marketing problems these days?

    Same for Vista: try to find a official website, where the new features are simply shown. Only phrases like “Easier and more secure”. MS: Show us how easy Backup really works (because it does) or the new Shell (no menus anymore!), meta tagging … They didn’t know what is good on their own products.

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  6. @Tino: Your right dude, they don’t know what to show to people because everyone is looking for something else. Are they playing catch up to Mac? No, they are just putting it in there to appease some people. Everyone customizes their XP’s to the point where it can look like JoeSmoe1.0. Mac users, as far as i have noticed… keep their default look. Which is nice. Xp’s isn’t so nice. But some quick changes, like the Royal Noir Theme, make it nice.

  7. So how would one pronounce that name above? And wow, yeah, this whole thing’s quite a mess. Look how much easier it is to say, “Windows Live Mail” versus “Windows Live Hotmail”. Sure it’s just one extra syllable, but doesn’t the former flow a bit better?

    Thee is also a few good comments at http://liveside.net/blogs/opinion/archive/2007/02/09/enough-branding-jokes-why-windows-live-hotmail-is-a-good-name-that-s-bad.aspx about the domain issue.

    I guess on the plus side, we can then call it WLH, thereby elmininating one of the WLMs (one for Mail, one for Messenger).

  8. @Peacho: Why name every service? “Mail me via Windows Live” or “try to search this with Windows Live” would be enought, IMO.

  9. Why is it that ZUNE and XBOX got nice simple sexy names….

    But The software teams are complete IDIOTS with naming


    Microsoft needs to stop being so damn corporate with their naming, what do they need j. allard in charge of naming all their products to get decent names???

    I vote for J as the next head of microsoft!

  10. you guys hav too much free time… get a hobbym GOSH… dont u hav anything beter to do than debate how windows names its stuff…

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