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10 worst Microsoft product names of all time

Quite possibly the worst monikers ever

When it comes to naming products Microsoft is well-known for getting it wrong. Many of the product names dreamt up by Microsoft sound clunky; some are confusing, while others are undignified or overambitious. So we've put together the top 10 worst Microsoft product names ever.

2006: 2007 Microsoft Office System

When Microsoft announced Microsoft Office 2007 in February 2006, it started calling the overall Office platform the '2007 Microsoft Office System', even though individual versions, such as the alarmingly wordy Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007, kept the year at the end of the name.

At the time, a Microsoft representative explained the distinction to me, but I barely comprehended it even then - it was as if the company wanted Windows 95 to be called 95 Windows in certain instances. Then there was the superfluous 'system' on the end, which reminds me of how Disney insists on calling Disneyland the 'Disneyland Resort'.

What it should have been called: Microsoft Office 2007. Actually, that's what everybody outside Microsoft does call it.

2008: Windows Live Essentials

In September 2008, Microsoft announced that it was stripping three of Windows Vista's applets - Windows Mail, Windows Photo Gallery, and Windows Movie Maker - out of Windows 7. They would live on, but as free downloads, known collectively (along with other apps such as Windows Live Writer) as Windows Live Essentials.

But doesn't the fact that Microsoft unbundled these tools from Windows prove that they're not essential?

Bonus annoyance: Microsoft's decision to identify these downloadable freebies' under the Windows Live rubric (which usually applies to web services) makes it even harder to define just what Windows Live means.

What it should have been called: I'm not sure that anyone gains anything by giving these applets a collective name. But something along the lines of Windows Bonus Material or Windows Extras would work.

NEXT PAGE: Six runners up that boast almost as unfortunate names

  1. Quite possibly the worst monikers ever
  2. Handheld PCs and .NET
  3. HailStorm and Windows Genuine Advantage
  4. 2007 Microsoft Office System and Windows Live Essentials
  5. Six runners up that boast almost as unfortunate names


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