Perspectivesfrequal.com

Code Name: Papyrus

A Code Name for Every Product

Why is it that every preannounced product has a code name? Lately all of the major vendors (and some not-so-major ones) have been naming beta products long before they are ready to ship. Names like 'Latte' and 'Blackbird' have been coming forth from corporate mouths in abundance.

I am not sure I fully understand the need for the names. Admittedly, they add an aura of excitement to otherwise dull products. The names may also make it easier for developers to talk to one another about projects in their early stages. Still, why can't they pick the release name early, and then use that name to consistently refer to the product?

Interestingly, some companies are using the code names to distinguish releases otherwise known only by a version number. For instance, Notes 4.5 is named Domino by Lotus.

Better in Beta

Another problem I have with the industry code name is that they are often better than the released names. Take a look at some recent examples:

Company

Released Name

Code Name

Microsoft

Visual InterDev

Blackbird

Borland

JBuilder

Latte

Microsoft

Microsoft Commercial Internet System

Normandy

IBM

OS/2 Warp 4.0

Merlin

Oracle

Universal Server Suite

Bandwagon

Apple

HotSauce

Project X

Novell

Netware 4.11

Green River

Platinum

Forest & Trees Version 4.0

Bedrock

Microsoft

Visual J++

Jakarta

I will be curious to see if the code name phenomenon is a passing fad or whether it continues into 1998.


Copyright © 2016 Andrew Oliver