A (Microsoft) Code Name a Day: Tahiti

Microsoft seems to have quite the island theme going with some of its recent codenames. There's Fiji, Hawaii, Greenland and -- today's Microsoft Code Name of the Day entry -- Tahiti.

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: Tahiti

Microsoft code name of the day: Tahiti

Best guess on what it is: Microsoft's consumer conferencing service, officially christened "SharedView"

Meaning/context of the code name: Like a number of other recent products/services, SharedView shares a place-name codename. It's interesting to note that a number of Microsoft's recent codenames are islands (Greenland, Fiji, Hawaii, Tahiti). What's next? Manhattan?

Back story: Microsoft quietly launched a closed "pre-beta" of the Tahiti service in March 2007. In May, Microsoft rebranded the service as "Shared View," and made the beta public. It now appears that Microsoft considers SharedView to be one of its Windows Live properties, and has integrated the SharedView service with Windows Live Messenger.

Microsoft's more detailed description: SharedView is like a stripped-down version of Microsoft Office Live Meeting. It is designed for small workgroups interested in sharing documents, desktops and applications. It allows up to 15 people in different locations" to share what's on their screens. According to text on Microsoft's download Web site, the service works on Windows XP SP2, Vista Home Premium and Ultimate, and Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 systems. There is no audio or chat support in SharedView (yet).

Additional info: The SharedView beta is now open to any and all interested testers. Here's the information on how to test the SharedView service. (Windows ID or Microsoft Passport required.) SharedView is still marked as "beta"; no word on when Microsoft plans to roll out the final version.

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.