A (Microsoft) code name a day: Decatur

A (Microsoft) code name a day: Decatur

Summary: The "Microsoft Code Name a Day" series hits Day 17. Today's entry is "Decatur," a codename for a set of Microsoft-developed tools that may never go commercial.

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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.

Microsoft
code name
of the day:
Decatur

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: Decatur

Best guess on what it is: A set of tools designed to enable product teams to take control of the install/uninstall process for products like Visual Studio, .Net and the .Net Framework (WinFX) and Team Foundation Server

Meaning/context of the code name: Admittedly, the story behind this codename is a pure guess on my part. Sure, Decatur could be named after the city of Decatur, Georgia. But I'm betting, instead, that Microsoft might have taken the Decatur name from Stephen Decatur, a hero in the War of 1812. Other naming theories/thoughts are welcome.

(Update: Geographically-savvy reader Stuart sent in this bit of info:  "Given that (Decatur) is part of the Visual Studio world (which relies on island code names), my guess is that it refers to Decatur Island, just east of Lopez and a little south of Orcas, in WA state's San Juan Islands. According to Wikipedia, it's named after Stephen Decatur, so your guess may be close to the mark as well.")

Back story: Microsoft doesn't assign codenames to commercial and research products and projects only. Tools and technologies have been deployed within the company's developer division by the Visual Studio, .Net, .Net Framework (WinFx) and Team Foundation Server teams, sources say.

Additional info: Last I heard, Microsoft was considering making Decatur available to other Microsoft product teams, as well as to third-party developers.

Anyone have more details on "Decatur"? 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 track of the full month's worth of Microsoft code names I end up posting, bookmark this "Microsoft Codenames" page.

Topic: Microsoft

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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