Mary Jo Foley has an article on the Microsoft-Watch site entitled Worst Microsoft Product Name Ever where she writes

As Microsoft watchers inside and outside the company have noted, Microsoft is not terribly astute when it comes to naming its products. But on Wednesday, the branding department hit a new low, in terms of bad naming choices. Microsoft has decided to christen the new Windows desktop search application (that can search your desktop/Intranet and Internet), due to go beta later this year, as "Windows Live Search." But there already is a Windows Live Search – the Internet search service that is currently in beta. Are the two products the same? No, the Softies said. Are they related? Nope. We've decided we're going to try using Windows Live Search A (for the desktop app version) and Windows Live Search S for the MSN service. And we thought the SharePoint branding was confusing!

This sounds pretty amazing. Microsoft has created two unrelated products that are both called Windows Live Search. Wow. It's like we are determined to cause the Windows Live brand to turn to crap before any of the services even get out of beta. I guess the folks who were behind the .NET branding fiasco are still alive and well in the B0rg cube.

Update: I should clarify that this is likely just poor storytelling on our part as opposed to actual different products being named the same thing. If you read the press release Microsoft Enterprise Search Solutions Help Enable Effective Information Management you'll see the excerpt

To that end, the company will deliver a solution called Windows Live Search, which offers a single user interface (UI) to help people find and use all the information they care about from across the entire enterprise and beyond. It essentially binds together previously separate search solutions including Windows Desktop Search, Intranet search provided by Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Internet search via Windows Live Search, among others. Any information available to any of these systems can be exposed in one place, instantly showing relevant and actionable search results from all its enterprise data sources, from the desktop and from the Web
...
To illustrate, a sales representative trying to find information about a customer she plans to visit could gather the needed data by accessing Office SharePoint Server 2007, initiating a search and pulling business data from a Siebel application in addition to gathering data off her desktop using Windows Desktop Search. However, the same search could be performed from within Windows Live Search to produce all of the relevant desktop, e-mail, intranet and Internet results. Furthermore, when the sales representative clicks through the results, she will see they are actually displayed from that same window. Windows Live Search displays full results without navigating away or opening additional applications.

The press release makes it hard to tell whether this is new functionality of http://search.live.com being announced or a duplicate product which is branded with the same name. If reporters are getting confused about our messaging then there is definitely something broken that we need to fix.


 

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 11:36:11 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Hi, Dare,

This reminds me of the "premature release" on May 10, 2006 of details about ADO.NET 3.0 and the proposed "Entity Framework." Apparently the initial date was picked to coincide (or conflicted) with the LINQ May 2006 CTP update. The ADO 3.0 Entity Framework appears to have taken a development direction greatly different from DLinq. (See my http://oakleafblog.blogspot.com/2006/05/adonet-30-entity-framework-ephemera.html and http://forums.microsoft.com/msdn/showpost.aspx?postid=396687&SiteID=1.)

--rj
Thursday, May 18, 2006 5:34:52 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Yes, Microsoft is not terribly astute when it comes to naming products. It was only last month another MSFT blogger reported on Microsoft's problems with getting Windows out the door.

Aren't mixed metaphors wonderful!!!!

Mjinga Wawa
Mjinga Wawa
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