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February 13, 2006

“Live” another Microsoft branding train wreck?

Posted by David Hunter at 11:29 AM ET.

Mary Jo Foley makes the case that Microsoft’s “Live” is Another .Net Disaster in the Making:

When Microsoft first coined .Net, the term referred to something quite specific: The .Net Framework, a set of classes and libraries for building Windows applications.

But within a matter of months, Microsoft marketers began attaching the .Net moniker to all kinds of products, from Windows .Net Servers, to MapPoint.Net. .Net became a meaningless term that even Redmond’s own couldn’t explain concisely.

In 2003, the .Net naming police did a clean sweep and purged the .Net name from all but a handful of products. But the damage was done. .Net had become a shell of its former self, and one that few Microsoft constituents, to this day, can define with any certainty.

Now, history is threatening to repeat itself with Microsoft “Live.”

Hit the link for details of the indictment, but it looks like a fair cop. My favorite is Windows OneCare Live which is a conventional PC security package which somehow shares “Live” currency with ad supported Web offerings. An indicative quote in the article is from Microsoft Corporate VP Blake Irving:

“When I explain Windows Live, I describe a service that seamlessly brings Web experiences together with Windows software and provides greater relevance in people’s lives.”

I guess automatic downloading of virus signature updates fills the “Web experience” bill for OneCare.

Filed under General Business, Marketing, OS - Client, Windows Live OneCare

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3 Responses to ““Live” another Microsoft branding train wreck?”

  1. Microsoft News Tracker » Microsoft moves in on the Web filtering market Says:

    [...] First, this is yet another odd candidate for the “Live” moniker. The way these personal filtering programs work is that they install on the user’s machine and get periodic updates of web site ratings, much like an antivirus program. There’s no Web 2.0 or Web of any kind in the deal. Chalk it up as some more “Live” branding confusion. [...]

  2. OneCare integrates Defender, changes name -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Also the branding police caught up with OneCare whose latest name was “Windows OneCare Live.” That was “out of order” compared to the rest of the Windows Live offerings, so it has now been renamed as Windows Live OneCare. Now that that’s settled, it’s still my least suitable candidate for the Live moniker. [...]

  3. Microsoft touts Windows Live to developers and needs to -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] This is hardly an insurmountable problem, but it is certainly a self-inflicted one. As Microsoft’s Dare Obasanjo observes: I’m sure once the major MSN properties like Hotmail, MSN Messenger and MSN Spaces are rebranded there will be more awareness of ‘Windows Live’ by customers. However I suspect the confusion around the difference between ‘MSN’ and ‘Windows Live’ will continue for quite a while. Maybe some of the marketing folks who fixed the weirdness of having both WinFX and the .NET Framework as dueling brands will be reorged into our division and can fix this foolishness. Filed under Conferences, MSN, General Business, Windows Live, Marketing, Microsoft, TechEd06   [Permalink] [...]

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