The UX of Names (Windows)

By | January 5, 2009

Naming things is super important.  People will like something or hate it based on appearances and names.  See “Don’t Think of an Elephant” by Lakoff or “Blink” by Gladwell for more details, but suffice it to say, “People make decisions quickly based on very little criteria”.  Microsoft is naming their next operating system “Seven” or “7”.  I have no idea how they go this number.  It “sounds” ok.  It’s 3 less than MacOS “ten”.  Does that make it worse?  It used to matter what version you were on.

Why Windows “7”?

Let’s see here..

  1. Windows 3.1 (1992)
  2. Windows 95 (1995)
  3. Windows 98 (1998/1999-SE)
  4. Windows 2000 (I don’t include Windows ME because it sucked so bad)
  5. Windows XP (2002)
  6. Windows Vista (2006)
  7. Windows 7 (~2009)

Is this how they figured it’s seven?  You start with 3?  Or do they think like this:

  1. Windows Crap (1-3)
  2. Windows Slightly Better than MacOS System 7 (95-98SE)
  3. Windows Based on Unix but Sucks (NT 3.51)
  4. Windows Much Better than MaxOS System 9  (2000)
  5. Windows Finally a Decent OS (XP)
  6. Windows Slow and Worse than MacOS X (Vista)
  7. Windows PR Fix for Previous Version (7)

Sometimes, I just can’t figure out what the people who name these things are thinking.  Lucky Number 7?

Anyway, the lesson is:  Name things carefully.  People will make judgments based solely on that.  I named a few things at Marketo and spent alot of creative juice to think of just the right names.  So far, they are paying dividends.

4 thoughts on “The UX of Names (Windows)

  1. Glen Lipka Post author

    Excellent!  You know, in the past, I had time to research before blogging.  I am feeling like I am not able to focus enough.  Can’t burn out!  Need to focus!

    Reply
  2. Jorge Cunha

    I Agree it is really the best explanation, but we are humans, and sometimes we need to give step back to go straight forward.

    Reply
  3. R

    May be because Win7 should have come out in 2007. The technology (probably) is already outdated.

    Reply

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