A (Microsoft) Code Name a Day: Scorpio

The last Microsoft Codename a Day for August is Scorpio, a k a the 80 GB Zune 2 many are expecting Microsoft to release this holiday season.

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: Scorpio

Microsoft code name of the day: Scorpio

Best guess on what it is: The 80GB Zune 2

Meaning/context of the code name: Microsoft's Zune team has been plucking its codenames from Greek legends and/or constellations. "Argo" was the codename for the first Zune line. Scorpio is the expected 80GB Zune 2. "Draco" is the rumored 4GB/8GB Flash-based Zune 2. Pyxis is the wireless-sharing functionality (also known by the far-less-regal-sounding term "squirt") the was part of the first line of Zunes.

Back story: The Scorpio Zunes are expected to be hard-drive-based, not Flash-based.

Additional info: The rumored launch date for the second wave of Zunes (Scorpio and Draco) is holiday 2007. Alleged screen shots of the new Zunes have been leaking all over this week. With Apple expected to roll out new iPod models on September 5, Microsoft has even more catching up to do.

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.