We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

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.

Here's six more unfortunate Microsoft names.

Chkdsk

Even in the DOS era, it was unclear why the name of this venerable disk-checking utility skipped all its vowels; even with the eight-character filename limit it could have at least been Checkdsk or Chekdisk. Today, there's no excuse for not calling it CheckDisk.

All Microsoft products called Messenger

Not that it's inherently bad name. But there's Windows XP's Windows Messenger; there's the unrelated command-line utility called Windows Messenger Service, famous mostly for being a security leak; and there's the old MSN Messenger, which was renamed Windows Live Messenger in 2005. That's at least two Messengers too many. To its credit, though, Microsoft didn't change Messenger to 'Message Explorer'.

Microsoft Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint & Access

With Office 2007, Microsoft stuck in a superfluous 'Office' in the middle of some of the best-known names in the history of software. Nobody noticed. Basic rule of thumb: If your customers don't realise that you've changed your product's name, you've failed.

OneNote

The Merriam-Webster dictionary says 'one-note' means 'monotonous'. Microsoft's handy note-taking application deserves better.

The Road Ahead

Published in 1995, Bill Gates's best-selling book famously didn't predict the rise of the internet, thereby utterly failing to live up to the visionary promise of its title.

Windows 95

Yes, seriously: by the time it finally shipped, 1995 was two-thirds of the way over, leaving the blockbuster new version of Windows sounding slightly stale from the get-go. And it ushered in the era of consistently inconsistent Windows names, from additional year-based ones (Windows 98, 2000), to inappropriately highfalutin' modifiers (Windows Millennium Edition, Windows Vista) to mysterious acronyms (Windows XP).

  1. Quite possible 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

IDG UK Sites

Amazon Kindle Voyage release date, price and specs UK: a high-end eReader with Amazon’s best-ever...

IDG UK Sites

Why local multiplayer gaming is rapidly vanishing: we look at the demise of split-screen and LAN...

IDG UK Sites

How to successfully bridge the gap between clients and creatives

IDG UK Sites

How to update your iPhone or iPad to iOS 8: including how to install iOS 8 if you don't have room