Microsoft: Long Live the Windows Brand

Proving again that you can't always trust the blogosphere, there's a rumor Microsoft may eventually drop the Windows brand. But before you go chasing the rumor to see if it's true consider the facts: Instead of abandoning the Windows brand, Microsoft continues to extend it into the PC management and cloud markets.

Indeed, Microsoft is investing billions of dollars into the Windows Azure cloud, which offers platform as a service and marketplace capabilities. Windows Azure will also support the Microsoft Dynamics ERP cloud business within the next year or two, I believe. Meanwhile, Microsoft has also extended the Windows brand into the managed services and PC management market -- where Windows Intune seeks to connect with MSPs.

I think Microsoft reached an inflection point about a year or two ago with its various brands. Microsoft confused a lot of people with BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite), which offered cloud versions of Exchange, SharePoint and more. Further confusion involved Office Communications Server -- was it Microsoft Office or a phone software platform? To clear up the confusion Microsoft killed the OCS and BPOS brands, and doubled down on the Windows and Office brands in the cloud: Windows Azure, Windows Intune and Office 365. Microsoft also repositioned OCS with a simple name: Lync.

The anecdotal evidence suggests Microsoft has bet at least the next 10 years on the Windows brand -- both on premises and in the cloud. Too bad the rumor mongers didn't bother to look at the evidence.

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