05 January 2009

Microsoft Marketing

Sometimes I wonder what is going on in Microsoft's Marketing division. Or how many divisions there are. Today, I saw somewhere that the Windows 7 logo has a 7 in the middle: Windows Se7en. Like Tr2n - I think the producers of Tron 2 bagged that though, and wisely so). I'm thinking that the logo with the 7 in the middle is bogus. So no further comments.

This is the one I found on Microsoft.com:

OK, that's nice, I can deal with that.

But. Windows 7? Let's look at the name history.

Windows 1
Windows 2
Windows 3
Windows 95
Windows 98 (shudder)
Windows NT (was in here somewhere)
Windows ME (yeah, I went there)
Windows XP
Windows Vista
Windows 7

I'm probably missing some server editions in there.

For Windows 1-3 we've got a very boring naming scheme, but that's fine, a company getting off the ground and all that. Windows 95, 98, sure that works but it's really not more exciting than 1-3 for naming.

Windows NT: well really what were they trying to convey there? No idea. Next Technology?

Windows ME I'm just gonna skip. It's the one that they locked in the attic and the public heard some strange sounds coming from that direction from time to time.

Windows XP: Well it's consistently cryptic along with NT and ME. Next I want Windows SX.

Windows Vista: Wow, like a real name and everything? Seriously, of all the names this is my favorite. It conveys something. Like "Out my back window is an impressive vista." It's actually trying for something.

Windows 7: Well, we give up so we're gonna go back to numbers. Lucky numbers only though!

Once again, Apple shows they have a better PR division. Sure the first 6 versions where just System [Number]. Booorring. But then you go to Mac OS [Number]. Now they have some cat names in there for sub-versions, guess that's OK. Will they do bird names for OS XI? The important part here is that Mac has a consistent image. Microsoft is seriously lacking here.

The .NET Framework has the same issue really. When people first heard about it they assumed it was some kind of website. Not many people really know whether it's .net, .NET or .Net and their branding hasn't helped this. If it's not just for making web pages then why is it called .NET? Dropped the ball here. They're consistent at least, version 4.0 is on the way and there's no name change.

There are signs that they're turning around. Silverlight and Azure are both great names. They sound nice and won't be confused with anything else. Azure's got a decent logo:

The Silverlight logo is unclear and looks like a sea creature to me:

That's never gonna scale down well.


  1. Well, Apple uses cats as OS nicknames, ie. Panther, Tiger, Leapord, etc..

    Maybe Microsoft can use...dogs? Microsoft Beagle? Microsoft Pomeranian?

  2. LOL I like the dog idea. Microsoft Shih Tzu. How awesome would THAT be? Or to appeal to the tougher dudes, Microsoft Pitbull, or Microsoft Junkyard Dog? I think gameboy's got something going here!