Adobe’s Microsoft (Naming) Problem

What is Adobe’s problem? When it comes to Creative Cloud, they have no trouble figuring out the date. It’s published right at the headline of their What’s New section. At this writing, it’s June 20, 2016. But when it comes to their apps, they’re stuck in some bizarre Microsoftian name abyss, with all updates to apps bearing monikers such as CC 2015.3. We’re halfway through 2016, can’t you just call it Photoshop 2016? After Effects 2016? And so forth? No, 2015.3 is so much catchier! Not accurate, not even “government work” accurate. But something about the cycle of software development creeps into the naming structures and trumps any thought of consumer/end-user appropriateness. You’ll recall the cycle of Microsoftware that named such beauties as Office 2010, Office 2011, and so forth, all released as current software in years that were *not* 2010, 2011, etc. Always a great confidence-builder.

Note to future software namers (any product namers, for that matter): DO NOT DO THIS. It cheapens the work, giving it the shelf life of bread. Do you really want to be selling (the appearance of) day-old software? Unless there is a compelling reason to date your product names, resist and consider alternate architectures that won’t lock you in to a cycle you don’t have any chance of completing. It’s the naming equivalent of a treadmill that accelerates until, all too quickly, you (and your brand) fall off.

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