Creating a name for a technology product that is cool, marketable to both early adopters and a broader audience, and isn't already trademarked is difficult, to say the least. Marketers have to be creative and "think outside of the box", and end up coming up with product names such as BlackBerry, which seemed an odd choice to begin with, but is now synomymous with mobile email.

But what's behind the product names for the world's biggest technology products? The makers of these 10 products - the BlackBerry, the iPod, Firefox, Twitter, Windows 7, ThinkPad, Android, Wikipedia, Mac OS X and Red Hat Linux - have all displayed certain amounts of marketing savvy, common sense and fun-loving spirit in settling on their products' names. Here are the intriguing, surprising and sometimes predictable accounts of their creation.

Why is the iPod called the iPod?

During Apple's MP3 player development, Steve Jobs spoke of Apple's strategy: the Mac as a hub to other gadgets.

Vinnie Chieco, a freelance copywriter Apple hired to help name the gadget before its debut in 2001, fixed on that idea, according to Wired. He brainstormed hubs of all kinds, eventually coming to the concept of a spaceship. You could leave it, but you'd have to return to refuel.

The stark plastic front of the prototype inspired the final connection: pod, a la 2001. Add an 'i' and the connection to the iMac was complete.

Why is the BlackBerry called the BlackBerry?

Canada's Research in Motion called on Lexicon Branding to help name its new wireless email device in 2001. The consultancy pushed RIM founders away from the word 'email', which research shows can raise blood pressure.

Instead, they looked for a name that would evoke joy and somehow give feelings of peace. After someone made the connection that the small buttons on the device resembled a bunch of seeds, Lexicon's team (see profile) explored names like strawberry, melon and various vegetables before settling on blackberry - a word both pleasing and which evoked the black colour of the device.

How did the iPod get its name?

How did the BlackBerry get its name?

How did Firefox get its name?

How did Twitter get its name?

How did Windows 7 get its name?

How did the ThinkPad get its name?

How did Google Android get its name?

How did Wikipedia get its name?

How did Mac OS X Leopard get its name?

How did Red Hat Linux get its name?

The makers of these 10 products - the BlackBerry, the iPod, Firefox, Twitter, Windows 7, ThinkPad, Android, Wikipedia, Mac OS X, and Red Hat Linux - have all displayed certain amounts marketing savvy, common sense and fun-loving spirit in settling on their products' names. Here are the intriguing, surprising and sometimes predictable accounts of their creation.

Why is Firefox called Firefox?

firefox logoChoosing a name that evokes a product's essence and is available can be quite complicated, as the Mozilla developers found out.

The early version of Mozilla's browser was called Firebird, but due to another open-source project with the same name, the Mozilla elders renamed their browser Firefox, which is another name for red panda. Why? "It's easy to remember. It sounds good. It's unique. We like it," they said. Best of all? Nobody else was using it.

Why is Twitter called Twitter?

When cofounder Biz Stone saw the application that Jack Dorsey created in 2006 he was reminded of the way birds communicate: "Short bursts of information...Everyone is chirping, having a good time." In response, Stone came up with 'twttr', and the group eventually added some vowels.

It's hard to think of a more evocative name in the tech world than twitter, but what began as what Stone described as "trivial" bursts of communication developed into a powerful means of networking, breaking news, and forum for the 44th US president's campaign.

How did the iPod get its name?

How did the BlackBerry get its name?

How did Firefox get its name?

How did Twitter get its name?

How did Windows 7 get its name?

How did the ThinkPad get its name?

How did Google Android get its name?

How did Wikipedia get its name?

How did Mac OS X Leopard get its name?

How did Red Hat Linux get its name?

The makers of these 10 products - the BlackBerry, the iPod, Firefox, Twitter, Windows 7, ThinkPad, Android, Wikipedia, Mac OS X, and Red Hat Linux - have all displayed certain amounts marketing savvy, common sense and fun-loving spirit in settling on their products' names. Here are the intriguing, surprising and sometimes predictable accounts of their creation.

Why is Windows 7 called Windows 7

While Microsoft's next OS is kind of a 'Ho-hum' name, one has only to look at what happened with the most recent Windows release to understand why Microsoft might have gone back to a tried-and-true naming philosophy: Vista? Ouch. Windows 95 and XP? Those have done much better.

Microsoft's Mike Nash announced the name this way: "Simply put, this is the seventh release of Windows, so therefore 'Windows 7' just makes sense." We're betting that Microsoft execs are hoping that number 7 will deliver on its promise of luck--they could sure use a win after Vista.

Why are ThinkPads called ThinkPads?

thinkpadThe venerable line of PC laptops rolled onto the scene in 1992. While the concept was spot on, there was turmoil at IBM as to what to call it.

IBM's pen-computing group wanted to keep it simple; they liked ThinkPad. But IBM's corporate naming committee didn't - it didn't have a number, and every IBM product had to have a number, and how would ThinkPad translate into other languages?

Due to the chutzpah of the IBMer who unveiled it, ThinkPad won out, and it was a huge hit for IBM, which eventually sold it to Lenovo in 2005.

How did the iPod get its name?

How did the BlackBerry get its name?

How did Firefox get its name?

How did Twitter get its name?

How did Windows 7 get its name?

How did the ThinkPad get its name?

How did Google Android get its name?

How did Wikipedia get its name?

How did Mac OS X Leopard get its name?

How did Red Hat Linux get its name?

The makers of these 10 products - the BlackBerry, the iPod, Firefox, Twitter, Windows 7, ThinkPad, Android, Wikipedia, Mac OS X, and Red Hat Linux - have all displayed certain amounts marketing savvy, common sense and fun-loving spirit in settling on their products' names. Here are the intriguing, surprising and sometimes predictable accounts of their creation.

Why is Google Android called Google Android?

google android logoYou'd think the story behind the naming of the Open Handset Alliance's new open-source platform for mobile devices, which includes the brand-new T-Mobile G1 loaded with Google's goodies, would be cool. But, uh, not so much.

Back in 2005, Google quietly acquired a mysterious startup named Android Inc., which had been operating under "a cloak of secrecy" on "making software for mobile phones," reported Businessweek. The result of all Google's secrecy and Internet hype was the debut of T-Mobile's G1 on Oct. 22, 2008.

T-Mobile G1 review

Why is Wikipedia called Wikipedia?

wikipedia logoAccording to Wikipedia, the name Wikipedia is a portmanteau of wiki (a technology for creating collaborative websites) and encyclopedia. FYI: a portmanteau is a fancy way of saying that we're going to take two words, jam them together and (hopefully) create a new concept that people will love.

So far, so good. In an illustration of the axiom "the more things change the more they stay the same": Today, kids and adults now ruthlessly plagiarise Wikipedia instead of encyclopedias.

How did the iPod get its name?

How did the BlackBerry get its name?

How did Firefox get its name?

How did Twitter get its name?

How did Windows 7 get its name?

How did the ThinkPad get its name?

How did Google Android get its name?

How did Wikipedia get its name?

How did Mac OS X Leopard get its name?

How did Red Hat Linux get its name?

The makers of these 10 products - the BlackBerry, the iPod, Firefox, Twitter, Windows 7, ThinkPad, Android, Wikipedia, Mac OS X, and Red Hat Linux - have all displayed certain amounts marketing savvy, common sense and fun-loving spirit in settling on their products' names. Here are the intriguing, surprising and sometimes predictable accounts of their creation.

Why are Mac OS X versions named after 'The Big Cats'?

Mac leopard logoApple's popular Mac operating system X actually denotes the Roman numeral 10, since it is the OS's tenth release, following Mac OS 9. To the ire of Apple fanboys, many people do refer to it as letter 'X.'

More interesting have been the 'big cat' codenames assigned to each succeeding X release that have stuck with Apple's marketing: Cheetah (10.0), Puma, Jaguar, Panther, Tiger and current kitty Leopard. Snow Leopard has been assigned for the 10.6 release, with rumours that Lynx and Cougar are in the works.

Why is Red Hat Linux called Red Hat Linux?

Cofounder Bob Young has given multidimensional origins of the red fedora name:

1. It was named after red, which in Western history is "the symbol of liberation and challenge of authority."

2. Cofounder Marc Ewing wore his grandfather's red Cornell lacrosse hat in college and became known for this tech expertise - those with problems went to see the guy in the red hat.

3. Ewing named his software projects Red Hat 1, Red Hat 2 and so on. "So, when he started his Linux project, he just named it Red Hat Linux," Young said.

How did the iPod get its name?

How did the BlackBerry get its name?

How did Firefox get its name?

How did Twitter get its name?

How did Windows 7 get its name?

How did the ThinkPad get its name?

How did Google Android get its name?

How did Wikipedia get its name?

How did Mac OS X Leopard get its name?

How did Red Hat Linux get its name?