Fiji government official tells Microsoft: 'Fiji' is not for sale

Fiji government official tells Microsoft: 'Fiji' is not for sale

Summary: If you thought it was tough before to get Microsoft to talk about "Fiji," the next version of Windows Media Center Edition, now it's going to be next-to-impossible to get anyone in Redmond to utter the "F" word.

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If you thought it was tough before to get Microsoft to talk about "Fiji," the next version of Windows Media Center Edition, now it's going to be next-to-impossible to get anyone in Redmond to utter the "F" word.

According to a story in The Fiji Times Online, the Attorney General of Fiji, Aiyaz Sayed-Kaiyum , was worried Microsoft was going to name the next version of Windows "Fiji." He was concerned enough to write Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates. From the story:

"In his letter (to Gates), Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the interim Government asserted its absolute ownership over the use of word 'Fiji' and reserved all its rights under relevant laws to protect and defend the use of the word.

"'This letter, therefore serves to put Microsoft on notice that the Government unreservedly objects to the use of the word Fiji in connection with Microsoft Corporation's operating system or any of its products,' the Attorney-General said in his letter."

Fairfax Media, which is said to be the original source of this story, quoted a Windows Client Business Group manager Ben Green acknowledging that Fiji was simply the codename for  Microsoft's "Windows Media Centre TV software package." Green said:

"(It) is not intended to be used in an external marketing context. The product is designed to add new television standards support, enhance the user interface and set up experience, and add interactive TV features to Windows Media Centre."

(Hey, that's more than I've managed to get Microsoft to say about Fiji!)

After months of talking about Fiji to select testers, Microsoft quietly began rolling out test versions of Fiji a couple of months ago. Microsoft officials won't talk about Fiji's feature set or its planned ship date. Last anyone to whom I talked had heard, Fiji was slated to ship in late 2008.

Ars Technica recently ran screen shots they identified as Fiji test build shots. Again, no one at Microsoft would confirm or deny the veracity of the shots. (One tester with whom I chatted suggested they are real.)

Update: I've asked Microsoft PR here in the U.S. whether this "you can't make this stuff up" tale is correct. I'm not holding my breath that I'll hear back, given how reticent Microsoft is to talk about Fiji, but if I do get word, I'll provide the company's  statement here.)

Update 2: As expected, here is the Microsoft statement on the latest having to do with Fiji. Via a company spokesman:

"'Microsoft has many ongoing betas, however at this point we do not have any announcements to make related to any future version of Windows Media Center."

Topics: Operating Systems, Government, Government US, Hardware, Microsoft, Mobility, Software, Windows

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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16 comments
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  • Umm... so, it was wrong to use Chicago, Cairo...

    and also, Intel should not use rivers in Oregon; and maybe Apple should not use MacIntosh (a type of Apple)...
    Roque Mocan
    • Fiji got what it wanted:

      it's islands mentioned in the same article as Microsoft!
      AllKnowingAllSeeing
    • The variety of apple..

      is a [b]mc[/b]intosh, not [b]mac[/b]intosh.
      msalzberg
  • RE: Fiji government official tells Microsoft: 'Fiji' is not for sale

    Fiji government is a little uptight about this. They have no idea how IT works. Fiji is an internal code name and Microsoft hasn't released a product with the code name. Its going to be Windows MCE 2008 or whatever year.
    Loverock Davidson
    • They know what MS are like

      so it was just a precaution - tell them where to go before they try to take over Fiji ;-)
      fr0thy2
  • So...

    You'd be happy if they codenamed the next release of Ubuntu Loony LoveRock? Just a thought :P
    zkiwi
  • I think MS should change the name to "Kava"

    I don't think the people of Fiji would mind.
    Mac Hosehead
  • How about "Foley"

    I'm sure if MS paid Mary Jo she would "volunteer" her name.

    Then we would see blogs like "Foley" is a folly - by Mary Jo Foley
    bcarpent1228@...
  • Haw haw...Fiji ALREADY sold out...

    ...the Natives are all cheesed off because Chinese and East Indians walked in, and the foreigners now OWN the economy.
    Feldwebel Wolfenstool
    • Windows Fiji

      The whole story for this windows Fijis getting the name is very simple> If people do not know how Fijis name is used in this product is just the love of Fiji Bill gates has.

      If people do not know the few places Bill gates spends his Holiday is in Fiji in the islands of Wakaya Resort.

      I can personally remember Bill GATES has travell to Fiji for a Holiday so many times, and he just love to stay in wakaya resort according to one of my friends who works there as a caretaker.

      i can tell you now that name wont be removed it has beed incraved in the microsoft hardware.

      Windows Fiji will be out in set or Oct 2008.

      Good way to promote Fiji...Go Bill.

      cheers
      snaqama
  • RE: Fiji government official tells Microsoft: 'Fiji' is not for sale

    Aren't these the people making those overpackaged springwater bottles? :)

    I think "Foley" is a fine name for Media Center vNext, or maybe "MJF" would be even better.
    jpelak
  • Fiji Attorney General

    Needs to learn the basics of marketing...

    And probably a computer...

    Wait, he probably has never used one... it's the secretary using it.

    -M
    betelgeuse68
  • MS should name it whatever country Fiji doesn't like

    or is in competition for tourists, and call it a day.
    Boot_Agnostic
  • RE: Fiji government official tells Microsoft: 'Fiji' is not for sale

    So, does this "Fiji" absolute ownership apply to all possible languages which one might mention?

    Maybe Microsoft could use Fidji [French], Fidzi [Croatian], Fidschi [German] or Fiyi [Spanish]?

    Not to mention Chinese, Arabic, Hindi, Sanskrit, Aramaic ... well you get the idea.
    shineon4me
  • Change it to Kiji!

    Prokofiev won't complain!

    Dave
    FiOS-Dave
  • RE: Fiji government official tells Microsoft: 'Fiji' is not for sale

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