A (Microsoft) Code Name a Day: Ibiza

Another day, another Microsoft codename. Today's Codename of the Day: Ibiza. And today's question: Is Ibiza the new name for "Harmonica"? Or is this online/offline synchronization technology something close but related?

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 names 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. 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: Ibiza

Microsoft code name of the day: Ibiza

Best guess on what it is: A metadata layer enabling data synchronization online and offline across multiple Microsoft and third-party products and devices

Meaning/context of the code name: Ibiza, one of the Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean Sea, and belonging to Spain, is yet another island code name. Definitely seems like there's a tendency inside Microsoft to go with island names, as of late. (Think Greenland, Fiji, Tahiti.) I am not entirely clear whether "Ibiza" is the new codename for "Harmonica," Microsoft's P2P mesh service for synchronization, or whether it's a complement to Harmonica. I tend to think this could be a case of Microsoft switching up codenames to throw off us codename watchers....

Back story: Ibiza supposedly is the core metadata layer that will be at the heart of Microsoft's online/offline synchronization technologies and strategies. Online/offline sync is many software vendors' holy grail these days. For Microsoft, such a capability is an absolute requirement if Software + Services is to have any real meaning.

Additional info: The $64,000 question is when and how will Microsoft make something Ibiza available to customers. My tipsters are making it sound like Microsoft wants to get Ibiza in place so that it can support Windows 7 and Office 14 (2010 timeframe). The Ibiza technology also will support Silverlight, SQL Server and a host of other Microsoft products and services.

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.