A lot of software has titles we know, but never think about at all. Some are so ingrained that they have become natural parts of our language, as in ‘googling’ information having a photo ‘photoshopped’. However, other programs have names that seem just as silly today as the day they were introduced. Here is my top 10 list over software with names that could use a revision.
The name ‘Bing‘ might not be all that bad on the face of it. It is simple, but has no meaning. However, from the very beginning, Microsoft has harbored ambitions of getting it introduced into the English language in the same way as ‘googling’ something. Steve Ballmer probably had a memo circulated to all the employees, letting them know there would be a fine every time they accidentally said “search” instead of ‘Bing’. Google accused Microsoft Bing of copying their search results back in 2011. It might be a long way to the top.
Suggestions: Ming, after the dynasty! Or Dong? “Just a sec, I’ll Dong it…”
While Europe waits for Google Robinhood, the Spanish stock trade platform eToro is very interesting. Toro derives from the Latin ‘Taurus’ and means bull. But what’s up with Spain and bulls? It’s always about the bulls in Spain. Sorry, Spain, but bull fighting and running with the bulls belongs in a museum and has no place in Europe of the future. I know it and you know it.
The implied ‘machismo’ also positions stock trade as something reserved for the male half of the population, which is obviously wrong in so many ways.
Suggestions: TapasTrader. Everybody loves tapas!
8. Microsoft Works
If that were true, it would change everything. The program was a cheaper and more limited version of the Office pack. Microsoft Works had frequent issues with opening Word and Excel files. And it couldn’t edit PowerPoint files at all. Back to work!
Suggestions: Microsoft Office Trial or Microsoft Works Sometimes.
7. VLC Player
VLC Player is one of the best and most popular programs for playing movies and music today. It is free and Open Source. However, nobody knows that it stands for ‘Video LAN Client Player’. Today, it is also a media streaming server and not limited to local networks – making the name even more dumb.
Why this traffic ‘cone’? Rumor has it that the developers stole it in a huge drunken stupor when they were students. Later it was chosen as an icon for the program.
Suggestions: Cone Player or Watch Out!
6. Office 365
Every time I see this title, it annoys me. Right! If only we could go to work every day of the year. Check e-mail while we’re on vacation and write the last bit of that analyses after the kids are put to bed.
Suggestions: Did you know there’s a ‘Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013’?! Just stick to ‘Microsoft Office’.
5. Google Apps
Might one think that ‘Google Apps‘ are programs (apps) for Google’s mobile ecosystem? Sure, but they’re not. Those are called Android Apps, and you get them from Google Play (not Android Play!). Google Apps is the same as Google Docs, only for professionals. Although it’s now called ‘Google Apps for Work’. The name Google Docs has now been changed to Google Drive.
Even so, there is still such a thing as Google Docs, but they are text documents in Google Drive. Google Sheets are spreadsheet documents (although I suppose those are a kind of Google docs as well?).
Google, we’re a little confused.
Suggestions: Google for Work or Google Work Docs.
I have bad news for you. This is not your good friend who doesn’t mind picking up the tab when you go out to dinner, or if you happen to spot a cashmere sweater in a store window. Unfortunately, you are probably going to have to pay for it yourself.
Suggestions: PayThrall, PayOkay, or PayToday?
Sure, let’s go on an exotic and exciting safari. Perhaps we’ll spot some big dangerous felines… like a huge leopard? And then we’ll shoot it, even though it’s a little endangered.
Of course, the name naturally follows Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator.
Suggestions: Tarantula. Generally, Spiders, just like Apple, are devious and evil creatures. However, they are amazing at crawling the web.
Everyone hates PowerPoint, and I am certainly no exception. This program is just so hard to work with. If you have tried to develop templates with different language versions, you know how impossible this program is. Not to mention the lack of compatibility across versions and between platforms – making it the quintessential Microsoft product.
Try to point at the 3D bar graph on the screen with your entire arm and finger. Next, flex all your arm muscles, especially biceps and triceps. Not happening, huh? There is nothing powerful about this pointing tool.
Suggestions: Microsoft Slides or Microsoft Presenter. It shouldn’t sound too promising or exciting.
1. OS X
Bringing this as number one, will probably draw the ire of quite a few, and I am ready to receive death threats and letters filled with anthrax. But at least give me a minute to argue my choice. First of all, people can’t seem to decide whether they should call the Apple operating system ‘Oh Es Ex’ or ‘Oh Es Ten’. Remember what came before OS X? Right, it was OS 9. Obviously, the X is the Roman numeral for 10.
Clearly, OS stands for ‘Operating System’. Therefore, you might say that it has no name. Anybody remember the operating system that became a direct competitor to DOS and Windows in the 1990’s? Right, it was IBM’s OS/2. But of course, OS/2 and OS X are two totally different things.
You could argue that operating systems shouldn’t steal the focus from the hardware they are controlling, or the software that will be run on it. But isn’t OS X precisely one of the biggest selling points for choosing an Apple Mac computer?
And just to complicate things further, iOS is the operating system in portable devices, such as iPhone and iPad. But why is iMac running OS X, then? What if it was called ‘Mac OS’?
Suggestions: Mac OS. Just like it was before ‘Mac OS X’ was renamed to ‘OS X’.