A (Microsoft) Code Name a Day: Springfield

Microsoft codename "Springfield": Is it just another of Microsoft's ever-expanding family of city codenames? Or is Homer Simpson involved, somehow?

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: Springfield

Microsoft code name of the day: Springfield

Best guess on what it is: Microsoft's Popfly mash-up tool

Meaning/context of the code name: Microsoft has gone back to relying on city names for a number of its most recently released products. Perhaps Springfield is just one more in that vein. Or perhaps "Springfield" is part of a new Simpsons family of codenames? You decide....

Back story: Popfly, an alpha version of which Microsoft rolled out in May, is designed to simplify the building of mash-ups. Its competitors include Yahoo Pipes and Google Mashup Editor, among other tools.

Additional info: Popfly was part of Microsoft's earlier "Tuscany" initiative. Tuscany was the broader Microsoft codename for efforts around making programming more accessible to non-professional programmers -- and using the Web and Web services to deliver at least part of that solution. As of today, Popfly is still in a controlled alpha test, though a public beta is expected any time now.

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.