After I wrote “How to create a new Microsoft product - first, choose a name...”, it was rather bizarre to see Hugh Mcleod called a “determined detractor” for actually pointing out that we have boring product names. Of course, the context for the comment provides further proof that our Secret Plan is working:

What's amazing is that Hugh's acidic style and Scoble's measured responses are starting to make me feel for MS. For the first time ever.

Pssst - Hugh! Keep it up, the check’s in the mail!

The blog conversation also led me to seattleduck, written by an honest-to-goodness Microsoft marketing manager. Perhaps more importantly, it led to the realization that I’ve learned more about the day-to-day jobs of other Microsoft employees by reading their blogs than I ever have in formal courses. Hey Scoble, how about we replace all those courses with a couple of hours of Channel 9 videos?

Adi Oltean also pointed out some of the gotchas of product naming in his post “Why the name VSS?”, about the Volume Shadow copy Service:

  1. Acronym conflicts (VSS is also Visual SourceSafe)
  2. Forced acronyms (it used to be just Volume Snapshot Service – now they’ve squashed “copy” in there but still call it VSCS)
  3. Leftover terminology (the word “snapshot” hasn’t been totally expunged from all documentation)
  4. Human inertia (people still use the old terms and have to be “kindly discouraged”)

And remember how I mentioned that Heather Leigh’s blog is a great place for folks who care about names? Lo and behold, she’s posted a hot Microsoft job advert for a Brand Manager!