A (Microsoft) Code Name a Day: Astoria

Summary:Today's Microsoft Code Name of the Day: Astoria. Astoria consists of multiple pieces: Bits you can install on your own systems (a Community Technology Preview of which Microsoft introduced at Mix '07); an experimental online service; a Silverlight 1.1 client library; and, as of August 3, an extension of the Astoria online service which enables it to run as a Microsoft hosted service.

I'm resuming my Microsoft Code Name a Day series that I started in December 2006. The goal: To provide the back story, each day in August, on one of Microsoft's myriad code names. Some of these code names might be familiar to Microsoft watchers; others (hopefully) will be brand-new.

Microsoft code namesoffer some great clues about the Redmondians’ development priorities, not to mention a better understanding of which future Microsoft products fit together, from a strategy standpoint. And not every product group is moving to boring, numbered codenames (like Windows 7 and Office 14).

Without further ado, let the codename games begin.

Microsoft code name of the day: Astoria

Microsoft code name of the day: Astoria

Best guess on what it is: A set of technologies allowing applications to expose data as a data service that can be consumed by Web clients within a corporate network and across the Internet. Astoria is one component of Microsoft's "data-in-the-cloud" strategy.

Meaning/context of the code name: There's an Astoria, Queens. There's an Astoria, Oregon (with its 125-foot high Astoria Column, "patterned after Trajan's Column in Rome by architect Electus Ritchfield".") There's the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. But I am doubtful any of these were the inspiration for Project Astoria. Anyone on the Astoria team want to share the origins of this codename?

Back story: Astoria is described by Microsoft as a project from the Data Programmability Team. But according to the home page URL, Astoria also has its roots in Microsoft's Live Labs, which is a joint effort between the MSN and Microsoft Research teams. Microsoft shared the first public details about its Astoria plans at its Mix '07 conference in late April 2007.

Additional info: Astoria consists of multiple pieces: Bits you can install on your own systems (a Community Technology Preview of which Microsoft introduced at Mix '07); an experimental online service; a Silverlight 1.1 client library; and, as of August 3, an extension of the Astoria online service which enables it to run as a Microsoft hosted service.

Got a Microsoft code name you’ve been wondering about? Send it my way and I’ll do my best to track down some leads on what it might be.

And if you want to keep track of the full month's worth of Microsoft code names I end up posting, bookmark this "Microsoft Codenames" page. You can also check out this video-whiteboard I did recently on Microsoft codenames.

Topics: Microsoft

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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