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Microsoft still learning name game

Software maker drops the Azyxxi mouthful, but its replacement--Amalga--draws mixed reactions, at least in the CNET News.com newsroom.

Microsoft has renamed its enterprise health care business to something with a whole lot fewer Scrabble points.

The software maker said the Azyxxi product line, which Microsoft acquired in July 2006, will now be known as Amalga.

"One of the health care enterprise's biggest issues is that providers and executives can't access patient information when, where and how they need it," Microsoft health unit general manager Steve Shihadeh said in a statement. "Microsoft's Amalga products offer proven solutions that bring together information from across the health care enterprise into one, easily accessible view. In fact, the name 'Amalga' is based on the Latin word 'amalgama,' meaning to bring together different elements."

The reaction in the CNET News.com newsroom to Microsoft's latest name change was mixed.

"Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster they got rid of the awful, unspellable and unpronounceable name "Azyxxi," wrote one co-worker.

Another was less impressed. "With overtones of 'amoeba' and 'neuralgia', I'd say they've still got a ways to go on the naming thing," he quipped.

One bonus: Microsoft won't have to pay a town to rename itself after the new brand. There's already an Amalga, Utah.

Microsoft has been trying to improve its product names, with notable successes Silverlight and Popfly, as well as a few misses like Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack for Software Assurance.