Naming Windows Phone 7

Microsoft launches its latest in a long line of digital gadgets, in a rush to market that precedes naming of the product. Well, I like to play with words. I’m looking for work. And I’m happy to work for somewhat less than the half billion dollars Microsoft plans to invest in its marketing campaign of its as-yet untitled product.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

WinDex

To give credit where credit is due, I am recalling this one from the geek press in response to the release of the XP version of its desktop operating system. It never seemed to catch on with the general public, but it got a giggle of recognition the last time I was on the phone with my ISP, troubleshooting a connectivity issue.

WinDex combines a diminutive form of Windows with telephone associations with Dex Knows. Maybe an issue with the telephone book people; are they still printing that thing? But maybe they would be happy to collaborate. Or maybe they could be bought.

Winning has positive cultural connotations. Win is shorter and speedier to pronounce than the two-syllable operating system, which, let’s face it, was never more than a desperate imitation of the Macintosh platform. WinDex communicates a behemoth’s ability to laugh at itself. How refreshing would that be? Give it a little squirt with a little something, maybe a little Windows-cleaner?

MEphone

You can’t go wrong with technology that appeals to our narcissistic culture. Since iPhone has already been taken, that leaves ME. Me, me, it’s all about me! Plus there’s a brand history with the Millennium Edition of Windows, remember that one? Me neither. This is good. You want to dissociate from Windows. Think XBox. That’s Windows??

Okay, I’ve been saving the best for last.

This one’s such a gimme I can’t believe they didn’t think of it prior to launch.

Microphone

One of the things I’ve long admired about Microsoft is their name, which combines two terms not traditionally valued in our culture, small or micro- plus soft, and out of that compound grew a big, strong company.

Microphone says who it is and what it does. In a word. A word that already rolls off the tongue. And gives voice. To the era of blahblahblahME. It circumvents Windows and circles back around to the company’s roots.

Picture the visuals:

Billie Holiday crooning into a Neuman condenser mic with shock mount in a recording studio: You’re just my good for nothin’…my sweet hunk o’ trash…

Or maybe Madonna wouldn’t mind donning her Gaultier bustier one more time and taking another spin around our material world.

But I am dating myself. Picture whomever the kids are listening to these days, with one of those itsy bitsy microphones you can’t see, but that squawk up a storm whenever I attend a function in the downtown library’s auditorium, named after Microsoft, no less.

Okay, that’s all you get for free. If you want more than that, you’ll have to pay me some tiny sliver of a half billion dollars.

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