How well do you know your Microsoft acronyms?

 I made the following challenge over on Channel 9 – anyone care to take up the gauntlet?

“That takes me back – when I started at Microsoft eight years ago, I worked in the Windows build lab.  This was back when we were working on SUR, and IIS 1.0.  We used SLM instead of SD, and there were no VBLs.  Working in the neck of the software development funnel was quite an experience back then – and I’m sure the challenges of the job have not decreased over the past eight years.

10 points to anyone who can identify all the acronyms I used above.  (Ok, only 5 points if you are an MS employee.)”

[UPDATE: Kevin Dente got them all right – I suggest guessing before reading the comments on this entry if you want to play along.]

Comments (12)

  1. I once had a meeting with a bunch of Microsoft (UK) bods where the acronyms were coming thick and fast – eventually I cracked and asked for clarification – turned out that about 50% of the acronymns weren’t definable by anyone in the room -these things were only ever known by their acronym and never by their proper name…

  2. Kevin Dente says:

    SUR = Shell Update Release

    IIS = Internet Information server

    VBL = Virtual Build Lab

    SLM = Source Library Management

    SD = SourceDepot

    Can I cash in my points for valuable prizes? 😛

  3. I have an expired dove bar certificate I could give you?

  4. To be honest, I didn’t remember exactly what SLM stood for, although I do know how it is pronounced: "slime".

  5. Actually SLM is Source Library Manager.

    Not that it really matters.

  6. Ok, let’s try one or two others.

    Build related, right?

    How about:


    Actually that one’s too easy.

    It’s not a TLA, but how about "Razzle"? (this one’s easy)

    Or even "Dazzle"? (this one’s harder)

    How about: What’s the relationship between "Popcorn" and "Who was "Orville""?

  7. Good ones! BCZ and Razzle are easy, since they are still used today. Dazzle is before my time, but I heard stories of it. You lost me with ‘popcorn’ and ‘orville’ – I bow to your mastery of obscure Microsoft nomenclature!

  8. How about ‘xerox’ – I wonder if they still use it in the buil lab…

  9. I don’t know bruce.

    If you lived on the NT build team back in the day, you’d know Popcorn and Orville.

    Popcorn was the name of the original NT source server.

    Orville was the first NT domain controller.

    You’re slightly wrong on Razzle though. It’s NOT just the name of the build window, especially when in context of Dazzle :). Razzle was the code name for Windows NT. Dazzle was the code name for the hardware platform that was designed at the same time as NT (eventually called the ARC platform). These were the two projects the original NT team started when they joined Microsoft.

    It helps to have been on the original NT team 🙂

  10. Wow, I learn new things every day. Popcorn does sound vaguely familiar, but I still don’t remember Orville. I did not ever know that info about razzle and dazzle – I thought dazzle was just an earlier variant of the build environment.

    ‘xerox.exe’ was a tool that would multiplex keystrokes to multiple command windows – we’d use it in conjunction with remote.exe when we’d have to do some manual build step on all eight build machines – x86, MIPS, PPC, and Alpha; free and checked variants of each.

  11. Juha-Mikko says:

    How is GNOME written? The community argues about the issue.

    Personally I prefer GNOME. Acronyms should be written in all caps. To let people gue…