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Windows Vista…

Microsoft has been working on their next generation operating system, codenamed “Longhorn”, for several years now. Its been delayed several times, had features stripped … and now has been given a poofey sounding name: Windows Vista. That name smacks of desperation, as in “dammit, this is so late we can’t use a year, and it has no really compelling features that suggest a good acronym, so we better come up with some buzz or spin that will get people to buy it without any practical reason…”

And apparently a company also known as Vista is contemplating legal action to prevent use of the name. So not only is Microsoft unable to pick a name that actually tells you something about the OS, they can’t even pick a name that someone else hasn’t already used.

I am kind of torn here. New operating system releases have the potential to be kind of fun, and its been a while since Microsoft has had one. But Vista? First it was version numbers, then the year of release, and then, when the year of release became “the year we originally wanted to release it, kind of, but that we missed”, techy-sounding acryronms. But Vista? What the heck is that, other than a really kind of juvenile play on words?

Sticking with the word-play thing, they could have called it “Windows Storm”, or “Windows Aluminium”, or maybe “Windows Cleaner”. If you want to break away from the play on words, maybe try truth in advertising: Windows CashGrab, Windows KindaLate, Windows OSXFeatures, or Windows BetterSecurityPatchThis.

Okay, I promise: that’s where I stop with the dumb Windows names. Until the next time Microsoft decides to come up with a new naming convention. And the bad thing here is that I actually *like* Microsoft products…

2 comments to Windows Vista…

  • Samuel Bald

    Before you say that ‘Windows Vista’ is just a dumb name that “doesn’t tell you anything about the OS”, you should do a bit of research. This site:

    http://www.winsupersite.com/faq/vista.asp

    explains in detail exactly why Microsoft chose the name ‘Vista’ (as well as a bunch of other info about this version of Windows). And besides, all of the earlier versions of Windows said absolutely nothing about the product (well, except maybe Windows XP, just a bit).

    And as for Microsoft “not being able to pick a name that someone else hasn’t already used”, realize that today it’s damn hard not to. That is, by the standards of this company that’s trying to prevent Microsoft from using ‘Vista’. I tell ya, it’s crazy. Companies are trying to practically OWN mere words now. Take Pokemon, for instance (at least I think it was Pokemon). Nintendo got rid of a FAN SITE for Pokemon games, just because it used the name Pokemon in it. See what I mean?

  • I did some research before my post, and like any name (or at least most names) there is some “internal” logic to it. My post wasn’t saying “vista is meaningless”, but moreso that I think its a poor name, and to me it doesn’t have the “meaning” that Microsoft probably hopes for.

    The site you reference says (in a more compassionate way 🙂 ) the same basic thing:

    Q: What’s with the name? I figured Windows Vista would be called Windows 2006 or something.

    A: You and me both. However, Microsoft has somewhat painted itself into a corner by choosing names like Windows Me and Windows XP for the two prior client releases of Windows. Now, it has to try and outdo itself with each product version’s name; otherwise, people would consider it to be a boring release. Certainly, Windows 2006 sounds less exciting than Windows XP.

    I can imagine the meeting where the name idea was first floated…”We need something about Windows…you see things through windows…you clean windows…windows open and close…what do you see through window? You see the outside…a view…a vista…hey, that’s kinda catchy. Windows Vista. Okay, but if you hear that name, what does it mean…lets brainstorm on a meaning…”

    I’ve been in meetings that went just like that. After the meeting there were probably study groups, market tests, and you name it. In that process, the name became filled with meaning- for them. For me, and for a bunch of people around me, it just sounds…lame. Personally, I prefer “Windows XP Plus”, or “Windows XP 2006”. Naturally, that’s just an opinion.

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