Update: Microsoft has combined most of their tech conferences under the Microsoft Ignite banner, with the first conference slated for May 4-8, 2015 in Chicago, IL, USA. See this updated Microsoft Ignite post for details.
A few weeks ago, Microsoft announced that it was shuttering a number of Microsoft-branded technology events — namely Microsoft TechEd, Microsoft Exchange Conference, Microsoft SharePoint Conference, and a few others — to make way for a new technology event scheduled to take place May 4-8, 2015 in Chicago, IL. At the time, Microsoft was criticized in some quarters for the supposed tentative name of the conference — the Microsoft Unified Technology Event for Enterprises, or MUTEE — but Microsoft indicated that the name wasn’t final.
Earlier this week I received an email from Microsoft asking me to “…participate in this short research survey to help Microsoft name a new technology event for enterprises.” I’ve cut and pasted the relevant bits out of the email in this post as a screen grab, below.
Microsoft recently sent out an email urging attendees of previous Microsoft technology events to take an online survey to help them name a new technology event. (Image: Microsoft)
I was curious about why Microsoft was sending the email and wanted more details on who it was sending the email to, so I reached out to Microsoft for additional information, and received the following reply from a Microsoft spokesperson:
“We polled several thousand past attendees of TechEd, SharePoint Conference, Exchange Conference and other Microsoft events. This isn’t a crowd-sourcing exercise, but it is incredibly valuable to get input and opinions from our customers as we consider the right name for the event.”
The TechEd North America Twitter account announced the date for the then-unnamed combined
technology conference on July 21st, 2014. (Image: Microsoft)
I attempted to complete the survey several times and was politely told that I “…did not qualify for today’s survey.” (See below).
Rod Trent at Windows IT Pro and Mary-Jo Foley over at ZDNet have reported that if you managed to actually take the survey, Microsoft provided a list of suggested names for the successor to Microsoft TechEd for survey participants to chose from, including:
- Microsoft 4C
- Microsoft CO
- Microsoft Current
- Microsoft Forsee
- Microsoft GO
- Microsoft Spark
- Microsoft Tomorrow
- Microsoft Unity
I’m not particularly fond of any of them, but ‘Microsoft Spark’ sounds too much like Microsoft BizSpark, and ‘Microsoft GO’ seems to be a reference to a Chinese board game. ‘Microsoft Unity’ seems too similar to the new IT Unity community site for IT professionals, and none of the others seem particularly memorable.
If they had a write-in or ‘Other’ option, I would have suggested the following, which I think is a fantastic name for a conference that showcases all of Microsoft’s products for enterprise customers: Microsoft TechEd.
If you weren’t asked to take part in the survey, feel free to add some name suggestions of your own by adding a comment at the end of this post.
So did you also receive an email from Microsoft asking you to help them pick a name for the successor to TechEd? If so, please drop me an email with your thoughts, or you can also contact me on Twitter or Google+. You can also catch up on my posts in the Petri IT Knowledgebase forums.