Quiz: Don't you love Microsoft acronyms?

Microsoft uses codenames and acronyms to disguise their products while still in development. Crack these acronyms and you're well on your way to see what's in Microsoft's playbook.

As readers of this site know, I love tracking down Microsoft codenames and keep a running log of them (which is freely downloadable to anyone who registers with ZDNet).

But codenames aren't the only Microsoft "names" worth watching. There are some pretty crazy Microsoft acronyms out there. Some are product names; others are team names; and still others are Softie-coined concepts.

I've compiled a list of 10 Microsoft acronyms -- some basic and some that I had to research for a while until I found their meanings. How many of them do you know? Take this Microsoft acronym quiz and match wits with other Microsoft watchers out there. No Binging allowed -- see how you do without looking these up.

And now, the mind-boggling Microsoft code-cracking quiz!:

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Congratulations for making it through. Now go on to the answer page and see how well you did.


1. SCCM The correct answer is: B. System Center Configuration Manager. The SCMM 2012 version is going to be able to manage iPhones, iPads, Android phones and tablets, and other non-Microsoft-centric devices when it is released later this year.

2. WBPOS The correct answer is: B. While many of those affected by BPOS outages in the past several months (not to mention Microsoft's competitors) may believe the answer to be "D," but the correct answer is "B." However, if you answered "A," you still get a passing grade on this one, as Microsoft originally ocasionally used BPOS to refer to "Business Productivity Online Services."

3. SMS&P The correct answer is: C. Students of the Microsoft org chart will likely get this one right off. SMS&P -- the small and midmarket solutions and partners group -- is a key one, especially for Microsoft resellers and their customers. The current head of SMS&P is Corporate Vice President Vahe Torosssian.

4. APEX The correct answer is: A. This was a new one for me. APEX is the Apple Productivity Experience team, which is 100 percent focused on building and supporting Microsoft products and technologies for iOS and Mac OS X. (Does this include secret agents working on Office for the iPad? Maybe... who knows?)

5. FIM The correct answer is: B. While many can and do use FIM as shorthand for "financial information management," in the Redmondian world, FIM is Forefront Identity Manager. Microsoft recently released a beta of its next version of FIM, known as FIM 2012 -- a digital-identity-management product to ship in the first half of 2012.

6. OWA The correct answer is: B. A tricky one, this is. OWA is Outlook Web Access. Softies avoid (when they remember) using OWA to represent Office Web Apps or Outlook Web App, even though either/both of those plausibly could be abbreviated as OWA. Instead, those two products are spelled out in full and not abbreviated in a (somewhat futile) attempt to avoid confusion.

7. PDW The correct answer is: C. While Portland is PDX,  SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse is PDW. Microsoft's first release of PDW was part of its SQL Server 2008 R2 wave and it sounds like there will be another PDW release as part of SQL Server "Denali" (either later this year or some time next). Microsoft is going to be adding Hadoop interop to PDW via a connector, company officials said recently.

8. IEB The correct answer is: A. IEB is Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business unit. IEB handles Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, Kinect, Zune Music and Video and Mediaroom IPTV. Headed by President Don Mattrick, IEB is responsible for the multi-screen entertainment experience being built out by Microsoft and its partners.

9. DRX The correct answer is: B. Devices and Roaming Experience. The DRX team lives in the Windows Live division is responsible for SkyDrive for not just for Windows and Windows Phone users, but also for iPhone, Mac and Android users.

10. ABC The correct answer is: B. Microsoft is starting to use ABC to refer to software that ships "on an Appliance, in the Box, or through a Cloud." Examples of these types of wares: SQL/SQL Azure, Windows AppFabric/Azure AppFabric and BizTalk. The Business Platform Division (the new home of Scott Guthrie) is where most of the ABC work seems to be centralized.

11. Windows ME The correct answer is: A. Those who were none too fond of the version of Windows client released by Microsoft in 2000 may believe the answer to be D. But it’s actually A. One of the relatively few times that Microsoft did not use a date in their Windows client naming. (I’m still wondering if Windows 8 will get a different name when it ships….)

Correct answers:

10 - You're a World War II Enigma code-cracking veteran 7-9 - A true follower of the cult of Microsoft 5-7 - Pretty good, but need more study time. 3-4 - Your Geek status is in jeopardy, study the Codetracker harder. 0-2 - Pretty bad. Are you a Mac fanboy/girl, by chance?