A (Microsoft) Codename a day: Geneva

Today's codename-contest submission is "Geneva," one of a growing number of Swiss codenames in the Microsoft family. Geneva is related to Zermatt, a previously disclosed Redmond name and, like Zermatt, has to do with federated identity.

As I announced last week, I'm holding a short but sweet Microsoft codename contest this week, with the prize being a free signed copy of my Microsoft 2.0 book (which I will ship anywhere in the world to the winner).

Since I announced the rules and regulations, I've gotten more than a few interesting submissions. I was seeking from readers new (but real and existing) Microsoft codenames which I've had yet to detail as part of my growing Microsoft Codename list. I will be running some of the best ones (as judged by yours truly) on my blog this week.

Without further ado, let's get to it.

Codename of the day: Geneva

Best guess on what it is: An identity metasystem including a new security token service and Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) version 2.0

Meaning/context of the codename: The federated identity folks at Microsoft seem to be favoring Swiss codenames as they fill out their product family. Geneva is just one of these. There's also Zermatt (another Swiss destination). Zermatt is the programming model for Geneva. And then there's Zurich, the .Net-based Software-Plus-Services infrastructure that Microsoft is slated to unveil at the Professional Developers Conference in late October.

Back story: Geneva is expected to be one of a number of building-block cloud services that Microsoft will deliver as part of its "Zurich" infrastructure. Zurich will be comprised of an identity service, connectivity service, workflow service, storage service, virtualization service and others, tipsters say. Sounds like the tentative delivery target for many/most of these building-block services is the second quarter of 2009.

Additional info: Microsoft is presenting at least one session on Geneva at its TechEd conference in Barcelona in November.

Update: Another tipster said that Geneva actually is the code name for the successor to Microsoft's Baseline Security Analyzer, with Geneva being shorthand for "Generation Next Vulnerability Assessment." Anyone know which tipster (the original or this one) was right? Or are they both right (somehow)?

Got a Microsoft code name you’ve been wondering about? Send it my way before the end of this week and you just might win my end-of-summer codename contest. (Winners names will be kept confidential unless they want them publicized. So don't be shy: Microsoft employees, customers, partners, competitors and others are all eligible!)

Meanwhile, 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 at http://blogs.zdnet.com/topic/Microsoft+codenames.html.