Microsoft is at it again. Every so often things get a little slow in the Communications and Collaboration group and it looks like the employees might be called upon to do something that justifies their continued employment. At such dark moments, someone yells "NAME CHANGE!" and a mad scramble ensues.
Memos fly back and forth, all existing product copy gets rewritten, web pages and legal documents get updated, advertising gets produced, promotional videos get created, and speeches, blogs, and press articles get written explaining how the new name for the existing product represents a fundamental shift in the way companies do business. Hundreds (if not thousands) of employees and contractors find themselves banging away at busy work and money flows like water through the economy. The system works.
Over the years, I have watched Microsoft nomenclature change in a manner far too convoluted to allow tracing with any hope of chronological structure and lineage. Like the twinkling of fireflies at dusk, product names appear and disappear, leaving no evidence of their journeys. Whither the fate of Placeware, NetMeeting, Windows Meeting Space, SharedView, MSN Messenger, Office Communicator, Windows Live Messenger, Live Meeting, Office Live Meeting, Live Communications Server, Office Communications Server, Business Productivity Office Suite, and other forgotten markers along the trail?
Let us then raise a glass to Microsoft Lync, soon to be the latest victim of taxonomic obsolescence. This week Microsoft announced that in 2015 Lync will become "Skype for Business." According to the official Skype blog, this "will again transform the way people communicate." (Again!) Of course Lync Server will also become "Skype for Business Server" -- A name that flows trippingly off the tongue.
Early pointers indicate that Lync's functionality will remain mostly unchanged, but it will take on Skype's interface and make use of Skype contact names. If you can glean anything else from Microsoft's official announcement video, you're a better analyst than I.
By the way, can somebody tell me just what the heck Katie Jordan is holding at 0:27 in the video?