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Technology’s most prolific name-changer is at it again. The Verge is reporting that Microsoft will change the name for its online Word and Excel services, to “Office Online”.
The switch follows a recent announcement that their cloud storage service “Skydrive” will soon be named “OneDrive” – a change prompted by a dispute with British broadcaster BSkyB.
If you’re confused, you’re not alone: the brand history of Microsoft’s online office suite isn’t exactly straight forward. “Microsoft Office Live” was the company’s first online office suite, designed to challenge Google Docs (which itself has since become Google Drive, but that’s another story). Offline Online Live eventually split into two parts: Office Live Workspace and Office Live Small Business. Office Live Workspace became Skydrive and the Office Web Apps, while the paid service Office Live Small Business became Office 365.
But Skydrive has since evolved to be more than an online office space, and that service’s name change gives Microsoft a chance to name their online office suite what it should have been called all along: Office Online.
The name change does not affect the business-oriented Office 365.
Microsoft has a history of confusing branding progressions. Windows went from being numbered (1, 2, 3.1) to a year-based naming scheme (95, 98, 2000) to using seemingly random letters (ME, XP) before using a random word (Vista), all before finally coming back to numbers (7 and 8). The successor to the XBox was the XBox 360, which has now been replaced by the XBox One (a name many gave to the first XBox).
And the site once known as Hotmail has since been called MSN Mail and Windows Live Mail – today it’s called Outlook.com.
This company can’t stop changing names, so we want to know: which Microsoft product will change its name next, and to what? Make theories in the comments below.
Source: The Verge