A (Microsoft) code name a day: Monaco

How and when will Microsoft deliver "Monaco," its expected Apple GarageBand competitor? Tune into today's "Microsoft Code Name a Day" post to find out.

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: Monaco

Best guess on what it is: A Microsoft-developed music-making program similar to Apple's GarageBand that will be optimized to take advantge of Windows Vista

Meaning/context of the code name: In keeping with this week's focus on "vista"-themed code names, I'd guess that Monaco is in the same camp with Vienna and Fiji -- another Windows client project.

Back story: I heard reports of the existence of Microsoft's Monaco at the start of this year. Then everything went quiet. My sources say Microsoft is still working on the project, but they have no ETA on when/how (and even if) Microsoft plans to release it. Perhaps Monaco will go the way of Microsoft's Project "Max" -- a photo-sharing app intended to be a showcase for Vista's Aero and Windows Presentation Foundation Technologies -- and just disappear into the sunset.

Additional info: GarageBand is available as part of iLife, a suite of applications for creating and organizing digital content. Other iLife applications include iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, iTunes and iWeb. I wonder if Microsoft's Monaco could be one of the family of downloadable Vista Ultimate Extra add-ons that Microsoft is saving up to launch in January.

Anyone have any new "Monaco" info to share? Or 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.