renaming

Windows Phone Central ran yet another interesting poll this past weekend on the forever controversial topic of “What should Windows Phone be called”?

The proposal was to re-name “Windows Phone 8” to “Windows 8 Phone” due to the benefit of co-branding and the fact that the new iteration of Microsoft’s mobile OS shares the same kernel as the upcoming desktop OS.  The benefit for advertising seems obvious to us as consumers will see the significant overlap between the two systems.

Of course there are some problems with the proposal, including the fact that the Windows Phone group at Microsoft may not want to consider themselves under the umbrella of Steve Sinofosky’s Windows desktop division just yet. There’s also the issue of version updates and whether or not both systems would stay in parallel (though we think that could be easily solved by planning appropriately).

Still, you folks spoke up. Once again we had a large turnout with 5,773 of you voicing your opinion. Surprisingly 54% of you agreed that Windows 8 Phone would be the better choice (something we actually agree with ourselves) while 37.5% thought that Windows Phone 8 was just fine. Meanwhile, a small but significant portion thought that “something else” would be better.

That “something else” of course is always hard to nail down. Many of you thought that Microsoft should capitalize on the “Surface” name and make a “Surface Phone”. While it certainly has a nice ring to it, the name “Surface” seems more appropriate for a tablet device than a phone due to its structure and shape. There's also the (slight) possibility that Surface tablets could bomb and then Microsoft would have two bad names floating around.

The other popular name is not surprisingly related to Xbox—either XPhone or something similar. Though the Xbox brand is certainly successful, Microsoft is clearly courting enterprise with Windows Phone 8 and we’re not sure the more button-up types would opt for a gaming-centric themed phone. Heck, we hear that even the new white phones are a little too flamboyant for some business types—no joke.

The take away message though we think is clear: If Microsoft is serious about aligning their various operating systems, then perhaps doing the same for their names--for practical usage as well as branding—may not be a bad idea at all.

Thanks for all who voted and your thoughts on the matter!

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