Taking a cue from the suffix in the former Wintel duopoly, Microsoft today released the name of its next operating system. It’s Vista.

I never liked the brand names Windows 95, 98 or 2000. The ME and XP names were an improvement in their ability to fend off obsolescence. Still, neither of them seemed to benefit from the thinking of the big brand identity firms like Landor or Enterprise IG.

I remember working with Intel in the early days of its consumer-branding of the Pentium chip – a most suitable name for its evolutionary 586 processor. Today, the world’s largest chip maker appears to have taken the whole branding thing to an extreme. Off the top of my head, I can think of names like Pentium 1, 2, 3, 4, Celeron, Itanium, Centrino, Pentium M and its latest, Pentium D.

At least Microsoft Vista won’t have to deal with such a confusing brand lineage. I even like the tagline: “bringing clarity to your world.”