secrets and buzz

The Wall Street Journal published an article last week titled At Apple, Secrecy Complicates Life but Maintains Buzz. Here's a quote from the article:

While many tech companies assign internal code names to products, Apple goes a step further. It often gives different departments dissimilar code names for the same product, current and former employees say. If a code name leaks, Apple can more easily track down the department from which the leak originated.

In the interests of being more transparent, I'm going to share a secret with you, my dear readers. Microsoft is one of those tech companies that assign internal code names to products [1]. The code name for our next version of Office:Mac is (drumroll) ... Office 12.

I hope I didn't just kill any of our buzz by revealing that secret.

[1] My favourite code name that was used by MacBU was Taco Cat. I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to figure out which product had that for a code name and why. (We don't make that many products, so guesses don't count.)

Comments (17)

  1. David Weiss says:

    Actually, our code name for Office 12 is Magnesium, but it hasn’t really caught on so everyone just uses Office 12.

  2. I was sooooo hoping that someone else from MacBU would step in and say that, because now I get to say that we’re just like Apple and have multiple code names for the same project.

    Thanks for taking that bait! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. You can’t just say a product, you have to give a reason! ๐Ÿ˜›

  4. Cool! Now I can use Office 12 to cut my way out of the cell Luthor’s imprisoned me in! And send up an Office 12 for help! Wheee! Oh, the fun you could have with that. When it launches, it should play “Disco Inferno”.

    Seriously, Office 12 is a much better name that the continual Office silliness that’s been going on for too long.

  5. It’s just a code name that we use internally. ย What the real name will be remains to be seen, but O12 probably isn’t it.

  6. The official name will most likely be Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac I imagine (or whatever year it is going to be released.

    Personally I like products names with the year in them because everyone can keep track of what year it is ๐Ÿ™‚

    I also like it that you alternate with the Office for Windows team (Office 2000 vs Office 2001 vs Office 2002 (XP) vs Office 2003 vs Office 2004). Sometimes you get a Windows centric person ask what version of office you are using and they can’t get their head around the fact that it is a version they haven’t heard of.

  7. You just can’t do anything cool with Office 2008. “Becuase 2008 is bigger than 2004” is about as close as you can get.


    Office Magnesium…Burn through your day

    Get Richard Dean Anderson as the talking head for it!

  8. NathanHerring says:

    Wasn’t Magnesium established by fiat, despite a survey and contest to pick a codename? That might have something to do with its lack of popularity.

    In Office, it doesn’t really make sense IMNSHO to have a code name. Just use the version number and await marketting’s newfangled name (Now with Pizzazz(tm)).

    Don’t even get me started on arbitrarily skipping version numbers to either "sync" with another product or to avoid "unlucky" ones.

  9. Unfortunately Pizazz(tm) is not compatible with Marketing Success(c). For that, you need to delete Soul-Sucking Committee(tm)

  10. palindromes, endianness, and VPC

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