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Brand War? MS -vs- Live -vs- Windows- branding

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  • User profile image
    jamie

    Microsoft Search
    Microsoft Homepage
    Microsoft Mail
    Microsoft Explorer
    Microsoft Windows

    Microsoft Office
        - Word
        - Excel
        - Powerpoint
        - Access
        - Infopath
        - Outlook

    Microsoft Expression
        - Artist
        - Architect
        - Animator

    Microsoft Xbox
    etc
    etc

    Point:  Seems easy enough to stop the naming buffet of late... why the long wait towards brand consolidation?

    worried about the "Live" brand. To me this means yet another - layer / version - that i have to learn and could obscure your products?
    Example:  Microsoft Live Messenger
    right there - thats 3 words.  too much.  and whats the difference between live messenger and microsoft messenger - or for that matter windows messenger.

    so - can someone explain how "Live" can fit in - without cluttering up normal names? - or - do you think adding "Live" to everything means something else?
    (to me it means another version of same thing..with ads - more to learn)

    is there a way to brand "Live" to everything without saying it?
    or - going back to the 80's and adding "Microsoft" to every product... or going to the 90's/current  where Windows is the brand to be added to everything...  can you keep track?

    i cant

    so whats better (in your opinion)

    - Microsoft _one_word_name_
    - Windows_one_word_name_
    - LIVE!_one_word_name_

    me?

    id go back to history - use Microsoft THIS or Microsoft THAT
    simple. pumps the brand everyone seems to want to burry

    you?

    edit - changed title to brand war

  • User profile image
    Manip

    Microsoft's branding was fine a few years ago... Now it seems as if the marketing exec's have too much free time and are trying to bring in some kind of "naming policy."

    I say sack them all, and steal some of Google's and Apple's marketing team...

    However I do look forward to: Microsoft Windows Live MSN/Hotmail Communicator 7.0 Premium Plus 64 Bit Edition (or MWLMHC7PPx64 for short Tongue Out).

    But seriously Microsoft needs to drop two of its online / web brands. There isn't enough space for MSN, Hotmail and Live. I would like to see MSN and Hotmail get the axe personally... "Hotmail" always sucked, and the Microsoft Network?! Are we still in 1995?

  • User profile image
    jamie

    to me it would make more sence if it was

    Windows Live 1.0 and Office Live 1.0
    (not 12 and not Vista)

    *Microsoft Windows Vista Live!*  (see?)

    edit - *for the record - i dont get saying Live - it should just be live (use an ad campaign for live - not in the name)

    then the microsoft name add on could go on a one word product name and be COOL again

    im not liking the thought of buying Microsoft Office - and THEN using Office "LIVE" - out there...signup...  it should all be integrated and as such not exist as a brand...

    Q:  why is it separate?

    this stuff could be done simpler?

  • User profile image
    jamie

    Manip wrote:
    

    But seriously Microsoft needs to drop two of its online / web brands. There isn't enough space for MSN, Hotmail and Live. I would like to see MSN and Hotmail get the axe personally... "Hotmail" always sucked, and the Microsoft Network?! Are we still in 1995?


    hotmail - gone (check)
    msn - GONE (check thank god)
    Live...hmm

    thats what im asking

    Windows Mail  (hidden microsoft crouching xbox style)
    or
    Microsoft Mail  (plain)

    Deal....  or NO deal? Wink

  • User profile image
    MasterPi

    I don't like the naming.

    You shouldn't have to use "Microsoft" or "Windows" to designate a product from its competitors.

    Microsoft Office, Microsoft Word...etc are fine because you can just say "Office" and "Word" and people will know what you are talking about.


    Microsoft Windows = good

    Microsoft Desktop Search = ugly.  (why not Microsoft FindIt! ?)

    Microsoft Windows Live Mail = ugly.   Live Mail = good.

    Microsoft PhotoStory = good

    Microsoft Expression Web Designer - okay... (better if it was something like Microsoft Expression Web)

    Sparkle should have stayed.. Crying




  • User profile image
    theCougar

    I think MS should take a hint or two from the way Apple markets its products. One word names! So much easier to remember.

  • User profile image
    Cider

    I think the new branding is a whole lot better.  Microsoft, Windows and Live do differentiate properly.  As I see it:

    Microsoft is for individual products
    Windows is for products that only exist in Windows
    Live is a suffix for products with an online part

    So:

    Windows Live Messenger - Messenger for Windows online
    Microsoft Office - Office is a seperate product
    Office Live - online services which augment into Office

    Also, Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 became Windows Internet Explorer 7 - suggesting IE no longer is a seperate product and is now an element of Windows.


    There are still some areas which need tidying, but its far better than the Microsoft Windows Office Live Meeting Professional type namings.  And leads for the eventual death of Hotmail, and MSN can become the umbrella name for all Microsoft's online activities.

  • User profile image
    Jason Cox

    I dont really have a problem with branding, I'm just waiting for some person to ask me 'Where can I buy Windows Live at', thinking that it's a new Windows OS and not just a new branding.

  • User profile image
    leighsword

    jamie wrote:

    to me it would make more sence if it was

    Windows Live 1.0 and Office Live 1.0
    (not 12 and not Vista)

    *Microsoft Windows Vista Live!*  (see?)

    edit - *for the record - i dont get saying Live - it should just be live (use an ad campaign for live - not in the name)

    then the microsoft name add on could go on a one word product name and be COOL again

    im not liking the thought of buying Microsoft Office - and THEN using Office "LIVE" - out there...signup...  it should all be integrated and as such not exist as a brand...

    Q:  why is it separate?

    this stuff could be done simpler?


    pentium [hz]
    pentium II [hz]
    pentium III [hz]
    pentium 4 [hz]
    it's simpler.
    Windows [year]
    Windows II [year]
    Windows III [year]
    Windows 4 [year]

  • User profile image
    Michael Griffiths

    Microsoft's branding is a side effect of its industry position.

    The names are business-centric; i.e. they don't require explanation. You know exactly what Microsoft Windows Live! Mail is. It tells you the company, the division, the platform, and the product all in one (or three) breaths.

    It's a very weak brand name, but because Microsoft is so large - it can afford it. Strong brand names are typically the domain of small companies, or ones seeking an edge over their larger cousins.

  • User profile image
    littleguru

    If "Word" would be developed today they would name it: "Microsoft Expression Office Word". I'm sure that they would. The name "Microsoft Word" or "Word" is so much nicer Smiley

    Live is as .NET was a few years ago. Everything is "live" now. It was "live" before (I can't even remember when the first version of messenger was published), but now some marketing guys discovered that term and everything gets the "live" tag now. There is no consistent naming at Microsoft. I really don't understand it.

  • User profile image
    sbc

    Cider wrote:

    Also, Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 became Windows Internet Explorer 7 - suggesting IE no longer is a seperate product and is now an element of Windows.

    As soon as IE4 came out it became Windows Internet Explorer. Sure, there was a Unix version, but I don't think it really compared to the Windows one. Apart from Safari, it is the only browser tied to a single OS. Mac Safari users must have to put up with a lot of sites not working properly (as developers can't test for them unless they buy a Mac). But then again, if you develop web sites on a Mac, you can't test them for IE.

  • User profile image
    jamie

    littleguru wrote:
    

    Live is as .NET was a few years ago. Everything is "live" now. It was "live" before (I can't even remember when the first version of messenger was published), but now some marketing guys discovered that term and everything gets the "live" tag now. 


    true..

    i really dont know why they didnt just put all the "live" stuff @
    www.windows.com  ( there's an ms shopping site there currently Perplexed)
    "Want to use all this stuff? got windows? come on in!"

    microsoft windows works with windows.com. simple.

    not live.com and start.com and msn.com  ( "live.com" could be used as a real estate site - if pronounced the way it looks)

    put another way - if google brought out a packaged Linux distro with all their software bundled to sell in boxes at staples - would they create a whole new brand called Google Static?

  • User profile image
    jamie

    jamie wrote:
      Posted by jamie // Fri, May 12, 2006 10:32 AM
    i really dont know why they didnt just put all the "live" stuff @
    www.windows.com  ( there's an ms shopping site there currently )
    "Want to use all this stuff? got windows? come on in!"

    microsoft windows works with windows.com. simple.

    not live.com and start.com and msn.com  ( "live.com" could be used as a real estate site - if pronounced the way it looks)

    put another way - if google brought out a packaged Linux distro with all their software bundled to sell in boxes at staples - would they create a whole new brand called Google Static?



    Bungled branding of the new Windows Live Internet services has hurt Microsoft and could affect its chance to play catch-up with Google, analysts said on Friday.

    http://news.com.com/Microsoft+hurt+by+poor+Live+branding%2C+analysts+say/2100-1038_3-6153879.html

    of course its not that simple as games/live stuff involved:
    http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=223

    best route is probably to just fix Live at this point.. although if up to me id dump it.  i personally would forget about co-mingling ecommerce backend db relationships from msn/xbox/windows. they are different things = not the same live branding

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