the product naming blog

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January 8, 2007

Product Names at CES: Is Vistagami the Name for Windows Ultra-Mobile PC?

UMPC.gifIt’s usually Microsoft’s final product names that inspire derision and disappointment among consumers, not its internal code-names. In fact, Microsoft products very often have quite interesting code-names and rather less inspiring release names. There’s no better example of this than the Windows Ultra-Mobile PC.

This much-anticipated mini-tablet had the definitely cool working name of “Origami.” Microsoft even filed for a trademark on the name in March 2006. Unfortunately, they were too late: a company called Industrial Origami, Inc had filed in the same class a month earlier. But you would have thought they could come up with something more euphonious than “UMPC.”

Vistagami.gifNow Microsoft’s developers are hard at work on the Windows Vista version of this hardware and software combination. I shudder to think what the final product name will be, because the current code name is “Vistagami.”

Someone please tell me this is a cruel joke played on gullible bloggers. The more prosaic “Pocket Vista” or “Vista CE” would be easier on the sensibilities.

Of course, a portmanteau name (in more modern terms, a “mash-up”) is an obvious choice for a product that combines two other products, but there are many better possible combinations of the “Origami” and “Vista” names. Even “Orivista” would be better. Or “Vistami.” Or “Vistora.” Something interesting. Something unique.

ces2.gifNow CES is upon us and Microsoft has to show these devices in action. Which means they have to call them something. The good news is, they haven’t filed for a trademark on “Vistagami.” The bad news is, there’s nothing to rule out “VUMPC.”

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Posted by Diane Prange at January 8, 2007 10:16 AM
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