Name Critic rates Windows Vista

Windows Vista
Our Rating
Background:Every time Microsoft changes the name of anything, it garners a lot of attention, and that certainly has been the case recently with the announcement of Windows Vista. A number of inexperienced marketing types weighed in to point out that there were home appliances, screens, shades, window frames and other products with the name Vista. So what! Microsoft has top trademark lawyers. They know what they are doing. They remember paying off $7 million for the Internet Explorer name.Notice in particular, they did not make claims on the name Vista alone. Only on Windows Vista. And when they do get around to filing for the registered trademark, we are sure they will carefully describe it as an operating system only, and disavow any ownership in the word Windows alone (for which they have never been able to get the magic R) or the word Vista. Pity poor Vista Software who never registered their company or database product name. Sure they have common law rights, but their legal page only claims rights in the Vista logo. Not name. For now they are crowing because of the publicity. Downstream it might be interesting to see what happens. Like what happens if Windows Vista starts to have embedded database features, for example. No prize for guessing who has the biggest legal budget!

Regardless, we are all starting to see names get ever closer to each other. There are only so many words in the English language that have a suitable tone and meaning in a given context. And many managers are reluctant to brand bravely like the consumer giants and introduce a new coined word. Microsoft is forgiven here because Vista is after all a third tier branding element, after the Microsoft company master brand and the Windows family brand. Perhaps that is also why the Vista part of the logo does not look very strong.

To learn more about what will surely be the next standard in consumer operating systems, please visit

PS Call us if you want to discuss naming architectures like the one we have alluded to in this analysis.

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