Generic MSFT names (was Re: [linux-elitists] What's some marketing buzzwords for what we do?)

Karsten M. Self
Sun Dec 29 22:09:08 PST 2002

on Sun, Dec 29, 2002 at 09:23:28PM -0800, Larry M. Augustin ( wrote:

> p.s. Gotta love the way MS uses generic sounding terms ("Small Business
> Manager", "Office", "Windows") as trademarked terms.  Who else could get
> away with that?

I don't know.  I think it's a liability in a Google world.

Try searching for technical docs, Usenet posts, or mailing list articles
for a Microsoft product sometime.  "Word", "Windows", "Access",
"Exchange", and "Outlook" are hardly distinctive terms.  Other products
do somewhat better:  SQL Server, Excel, and PowerPoint.  More often, you
find yourself with slew of equivalent strings.  Is it "Microsoft Windows
NT", "MS Windows NT", "WinNT", or just "NT"?  How about Win2K, Windows
2000, or legacy MS Windows.

In the mindshare war with GNU/Linux, I suspect Microsoft is losing a bit
of representation when some journo hack does a Google search to judge
the current popularity of legacy MS Windows vs. GNU/Linux.

David Shields of IBM drove this point home with his Jikes talk:  "Every
morning, I could search DejaNews [this was a few years back] to see who
was talking about Jikes and what they were saying.  This was an
advantage of having a made-up name for the project".

Generic names may have some strength on brainwashing and Orwellian
doublespeak merits.  They're poor research and tech support choices


Karsten M. Self <>
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
   Iomega:  click of death, Jaz Junk, and now, NAS?  Not!

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