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What’s in a technology company name?
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What’s in a technology company name?

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Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet? ...

Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet?

While we ponder that question, let’s look at how some of today’s iconic technology brands got their names. Long before they were household brands, after all, they were just nameless ideas.

And one has to wonder, would an Apple by any other name still sell as many iPads?

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  • 1. What’s in a technology company name?Would a rose by any other name smell assweet?While we ponder that question, let’s lookat how some of today’s iconic technologybrands got their names. Long before theywere household brands, after all, theywere just nameless ideas.And one has to wonder, would an Appleby any other name still sell as manysweet, sweet iPads? By Jeff Jedras Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
  • 2. Apple Inc.First slogan: Byte into an AppleWell yes, of course Apple Inc. is named afterthe fruit. Otherwise the Macintosh reallymakes no sense. Never mind the logo. Thequestion, though, is why?The answer only came recently, in WalterIsaacson’s biography of late Apple founderSteve Jobs:On the naming of Apple, he said he was “onone of my fruitarian diets.” He said he had justcome back from an apple farm, and thoughtthe name sounded “fun, spirited and notintimidating.”
  • 3. Microsoft Corp. Early slogan: Where do you want to go today? You don’t need to be a computer scientist to see that Microsoft Corp. is an amalgam of microcomputer and software. It wasn’t the firstname Microsoft co-founders Bill Gates and Paul Allan considered, though.The pair told Fortune magazine in 2005 that, at first, they went with “Micro-Soft”with a hyphen, after (not so seriously) considering and rejecting options such asOutcorporated Inc. and Unlimited Ltd.While Allen & Gates was seriously considered as a name, they wanted to build acompany that would last without them.
  • 4. Oracle Corp.Original name: Software Development LaboratoriesFor the first five years of its existence,Oracle Corp. was known as SoftwareDevelopment Laboratories and thenRelational Software, changing its name in1982 to align with its flagship OracleDatabase product.OK, but why was the database productcalled Oracle? Well, before founding thecompany, Larry Ellison worked on adatabase contract for the CentralIntelligence Agency called Project Oracle.And that’s Oracle’s CIA connection.
  • 5. Samsung Group Produces one-fifth of South Korea’s exportsIn North America we know Samsung best for itselectronics division, maker of everything fromtelevisions and DVD players to laptop computers andsmartphones.That’s just one division of this major multinationalthough, which dabbles in everything frompetrochemicals and heavy ships to life insurance.But how did this South Korean corporate giant get its name? According to itsfounder, in Korean the name means tristar, or three stars. Three representssomething big and powerful, and the stars mean eternity.
  • 6. SAP AGFounded in 1972Knowing that SAP is a German software company,you had to suspect the name would be prettyliteral.SAP was founded as Systemanalyse undProgrammentwicklung, for System Analysis andProgram Development. They later kept the acronymbut changed the words behind it to Systeme,Anwendungen und Produkte in derDatenverarbeitung, or Systems, Applications andProducts in Data Processing.Hey, they can’t all be linked to cool code names forsecret spy agency projects, can they?