May 18, 2006
Brand Naming: Live Has Many Lives At Microsoft
And the negative blogs and news aimed at it makes me think that Live may become the next Nintendo Wii in the most hated name stakes. There is nothing wrong with “Live” - not that it’s really great or original - the problem I've got with the brand name "Live" is that Microsoft keeps recycling the names they are already using, and thus causing great confusion.
The former Windows Live Search is an Internet search tool; the new one allows people to search their own computer, computers on their network, as well as the ‘Net. The outcry has been so intense that at least one rep has hinted they may even rename the product.
The reason Microsoft is using the Live name twice comes down to two divisions apparently not speaking to each other within Microsoft. Microsoft seems needlessly careless when it comes to product naming: Scott Fulton asks, what, exactly, is one talking about when one uses “Explorer”, for instance. I’ve also noticed that the term “search” itself has numerous meanings for Microsoft.
SeattlePI’s Todd Bishop refers to this as the George Foreman naming strategy, referring to the lovable boxer, whom we have profiled before in connection with The George Foreman G5 Grill, who named all five of his sons “George.”
I would add that George took this one step further by naming one of his five daughters “ Georgette ”.
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