Bad Names: Windows Phone Mobile Compact Edition Seven Series Pocket PC – Tales from the Crypto

Bad Names: Windows Phone Mobile Compact Edition Seven Series Pocket PC

OK, admittedly, the name isn’t really that long, but even though I’m spending this week on Microsoft’s home turf, I can’t say that I’ve met two people who can trip off their tongue the proper name of the new version of Windows Mobile:

Windows Phone Seven Series zhone1

Seriously? Every single word there is a generic term, and will have large numbers of inappropriate matches when you go searching for them.

Right now, while the hype is high, a search for those terms brings back mostly matches for the Windows Phone, but in a few weeks, it’s anyone’s guess what you’ll find.

ipadprototype Search for iPhone, or iPad, by comparison, and although you’ll find a pile of parody sites, at least those parodies are parodies of the products in question. Every search result is relevant to the iPhone.

Why can’t Microsoft come up with a simple, single, searchable brand name for their products? We see this all the time, with Bookshelf, Access, Excel, Word, Windows, Bob, etc.

What would be so difficult about picking up on the idea that this is, essentially, a Zune phone? Call it a “Zhone”, give it an interesting pronunciation (think “Zh is to Sh as Z is to S” – like the french “J” sound), and you’ve made for immediate cool, cemented the link with the Zune (hmm… could depend on how people like the Zune – personally, I’m so impressed by the Zune HD that I wish I could justify one to the wife), and made the product immediately searchable and identifiable. (Or if that name’s taken, Zuphone, Phozune, Phune, etc)

But no, seriously dorky names are en vogue at Microsoft, always have been and probably always will be. Of course, why should you listen to me, a security guy who dabbles in development and has no marketing ability, when instead you’ve got all those highly paid marketers who tell you that “Windows Phone Seven Series from Kyocera [or Dell, Samsung, etc]” will sell?

The bottom line

Notice, however, that the only thing I have to diss this phone on is its name. Having briefly played with a Zune HD, if it follows the promise of being the same kind of device with phone capabilities added on, this will be a trouser-changing experience. [I’m told the expression to use is “game-changing experience”, but the Zune HD combined with phone would simply be that good.]

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