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Windows Vista draws jokes, scorn, approval

Reaction to the name runs the gamut. No, it's not an acronym for viruses, infections, spyware, trojans and adware.

Technology blogger Josh Phillips is atypical of his fellow online community members in his unimpassioned, rational response to the newly announced name for the next version of Windows: Windows Vista.

"I have been giving myself a few days to adjust to the Windows Vista name before passing too much judgment on the selection," he wrote. "As with most product namings, this was probably driven by the marketing side of the house which, we jokingly say, has a two-drink minimum."

Thousands of others, however--including those who've left 135 comments so far in response to CNET News.com's story on the new name--couldn't help but form and offer an opinion.

About 45 percent of 3,000 readers who took a News.com poll said they will get used to Windows Vista. But 40 percent didn't like it, and only 15 percent thought it was the right choice.

News.com Poll

Like the name?
What do you think about "Vista," Microsoft's new name for Longhorn?

I'll get used to it
Rubs me the wrong way

View results

Web discussion on the issue ranges from debates over definitions and interpretations of the word "vista" (apparently it means "hen" in Latvian), to arguments over whether the code name "Longhorn" would have been a better choice.

"The primary definition of 'vista' is 'a scenic or panoramic view,'" said News.com reader Jason Beaudreau, who likes the name and is looking forward to the new OS.

But referencing the delayed release of the OS, another News.com reader, "Jim," preferred the definition of "vista" as "a distant view or prospect, certainly descriptive of Longhorn," he said.

One of the more than 750 comments about a related story on Slashdot.org was from an anonymous reader whose reference to "vista" is the old Oldsmobile wagon. "Yeah, Vista Cruiser--perfect name for my computer when I install the 'Vista' version of Windows. Vista Cruisers are slow, dodgy and old."

Using a similarly sarcastic tone, blogger Veggiedude sees "VISTA" as an acronym for "the top five Windows problems: viruses, infections, spyware, trojans and adware," he wrote.

Others who are lukewarm on the name understand the marketing rationale for it. They say a name like "Windows 2006" would sound dated in a couple years, and Longhorn isn't a name that's easily understood around the globe. And they admit that the name might just take some getting used to.

"Had Vista been the code name, and Longhorn the proposed commercial name, you would have preferred Vista," a Neowin.net reader said in one of almost 500 comments left to a related post.

"That's a terrible name," another Neowin responded to the Vista news. "I hope it's not true."

"That's what people said over Windows 95, ME and XP," someone else responded.

Microsoft's advertising tagline for Vista is "Clear, Confident, Connected: Bringing clarity to your world," according to a video of the announcement posted by Microsoft on Friday.

The first beta, or test release, of Vista is expected Aug. 3. The beta will be targeted at developers and IT professionals, while a second release for consumers will likely debut ahead of Vista's final release in the second half of next year, the company said.