Tag Archives | Product names

Windows Phone 7.5? Nah, Just “Windows Phone”

Chris Ziegler at This is My Next has a post up about potential “Windows Phone 7.5” branding for Microsoft’s big mobile software update this fall. This is based on a section of the Microsoft Partner Network website, which at one point said “Preview the new Windows Phone OS 7.5.”

Ziegler thinks “7.5” could be Microsoft’s way of marketing updated software to consumers, but I disagree for one reason: Microsoft stopped using numbers in its branding a long time ago. “Windows Phone 7” is a term we techies use, and it’s presumably what Microsoft uses internally, but ever since the first smartphones launched in October 2010, it’s been “Windows Phone,” pure and simple. The proof is in the very first TV ad campaign, and in Microsoft’s own website.

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The Weird World of Tech Product Names

If breakfast cereals were named like technology products, there would be no Cocoa Krispies or Cheerios.

Instead, we’d have Kellogg’s C-KR1200 and General Mills’ Third-Generation CheerZero. (The futuristic-sounding Crispix might still exist). People would still devour these products as part of a balanced breakfast, but I doubt they’d understand why they had the names they had. They might not even be able to remember them.

In tech, we tolerate the names of our beloved gadgets no matter how indecipherable or convoluted. We can be happy with our laptops, digital cameras and GPS devices even if we struggle to recall them by name. I’d love to recommend my Sharp HDTV, but I couldn’t help you find the same model without consulting my purchase records. (Okay fine, it’s an LC40E77U.)

How do tech products get such wacky names? What’s the process that leads to an obscure model number or imaginary word? Come along, and we’ll explore the bizarre, confusing, and frustrating christenings of tech products famous and obscure.

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