Home > Development, Microsoft > Think of a name … any name. Except that one.

Think of a name … any name. Except that one.

Many years ago, a client of my employers – call them ‘Acme’ – decided that, rather than calling the system we’d developed for them ‘The Acme System’, they needed a name for it that could be used in conjunction with an upcoming marketing campaign.

After several weeks of thought, they eventually came up with a simple name that they felt epitomised the global intent of their business whilst being a recognisable and memorable English word. They promptly invented a highly contrived (and, long-since forgotten) backronym to justify this name, and went forth. That word was ‘ATLAS’.

In Greek mythology, Atlas was the god who supported the heavens (not the Earth, as many believe) on his shoulders. Not a figure that you would have thought relevant to a 21st Century software product, but the client was happy.

A few weeks ago, I discovered that a friend was having some software written to support a new side to his existing business. The name they had chosen? Atlas. Last week, another client forwarded on a specification for the final stage of an integration project I’m involved with. The name of the system we have to integrate with? Atlas.

Even Microsoft are in on the act; their Atlas Solutions division is responsible for the purchase and placement of adverts on Microsoft’s Atlas advertising platform!

So am I alone in coming across this same name so often? Or have I inadvertently stumbled upon a formerly hidden rule, stating that at least one product in every company’s portfolio must be named after a deity condemned for eternity to stop the sky falling in on us all?

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Categories: Development, Microsoft Tags: ,
  1. September 22, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    We used to have a legacy EDI system called Atlas!

    http://www.atlasproducts.com/

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