Microsoft totally sucks at product names

Post ImageI’ve said it here before, and I’m sure you’ve read it elsewhere, but it needs to be said again: Microsoft completely and totally sucks at naming their products. Possibly the only names from the last year that are really good (IMHO) are Xbox 360 and Windows Vista. Let’s take a look at what I mean.

On Friday, Microsoft announced the official names for IE7:

For Windows XP: “Windows Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP”
For Windows Vista: “Windows Internet Explorer 7 in Windows Vista”

Now let’s compare that to a product (technically a feature I guess) that Apple announced yesterday:

You back up your system regularly, right? Well, you would. If you had a better way to do it. With Mac OS X Leopard and Time Machine, not only can you back up and preserve everything on your Mac — including priceless digital photos, music, movies, and documents — without lifting a finger, you can go back in time to recover anything you’ve ever backed up.

A backup product named “Time Machine”. You can bet if Microsoft had named the product, it would have been something like “Windows Data Backup Manager” and there would have been a “Premium Edition” and a “Home Edition”, at least. “Time Machine” is simple, inviting, and yet still makes sense as the name of a backup product!

This makes two things on my list of people Microsoft should hire: a professional demo person (like Steve Jobs) and a professional product namer.

2 thoughts on “Microsoft totally sucks at product names

  1. I actually googled "professional product namer", and I didn’t know that profession actually existed. Interesting, I would have recommended that they hire a marketing firm/advertising agency known for thier creativity i.e. Taxi

  2. Well they probably work with lots of marketing firms already. The problem is that they need one department/person dedicated to naming/branding that has final say on everything. Right now, I think it’s probably too spread around the company.

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