A (Microsoft) code name a day: Ohana

Summary:In honor of Microsoft code-name junkies everywhere, I'm going to feature one, random Microsoft code name per work day for the rest of this month. Today's entry: "Ohana."

Even though more and more teams at Microsoft seem to be shying away from christening their fledgling products with good, old-fashioned code names – favoring the ever-so-boring “V.Next” designation instead -- there are still some who are doing so.

Microsoft code names always have piqued my interest. They offer 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.

code name
of the day:

In honor of Microsoft code-name junkies everywhere, I’m going to feature one, random Microsoft code name per work day for the rest of this month. I’ll provide as much information as I’ve been able to unearth on each, and attempt to provide some context as to how the team chose the name and how the forthcoming technology fits into the Redmond product hierarchy.

Microsoft code name of the day: Ohana

Best guess on what it is: The next version of the Windows Live Family Safety Center service

Meaning/context of the code name: “Ohana” is a Hawaiian term for extended family.

Back story: A month ago, a loyal reader asked for more information about a Microsoft product known as “Ohana.” The reader said he believed the product was some kind of new collaboration software under development, and wondered whether Ohana might be some kind of extension of Groove.

When I began digging around on Ohana, I heard it had something to do with the Microsoft Family Center. The only Family Center offering Microsoft has that I know about is the Xbox Family Center – an Xbox sub-site with games, promotions and information for parents and kids.

But then my thoughts turned to the Windows Live Family Safety Center (later christened “Windows Live OneCare Family Safety”) – the parental-controls service that will be an adjunct to the parental-control software built into Windows Vista. If Ohana were the next version of this service, that would be more in keeping with the reader’s “collaboration software” tip….

Additional info: Microsoft made the original OneCare Family Safety beta available to testers in August 2006. Since then, no word on when Microsoft plans to roll out the final release of Version 1 of this service.

Anyone have any more details on Ohana they'd be willing to share? Or do you have another  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 up with the full month's worth of Microsoft codenames I end up posting, bookmark this "Microsoft Codenames" page

Topics: Microsoft


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

Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.