I’ve given up making fun of Microsoft’s product-naming habits–oddly-clunky, frequently-changing monikers are just part of what makes Microsoft Microsoft. The company knows its branding practices are fodder for humor (here’s a famous self-parodying video it made) and yet it doesn’t change them. Either it likes it this way, or can’t help itself, or both.
But as I mulled over Windows Phone 7 Series–which looks neat–I was moved to try and document the many names Microsoft has given its mobile version of Windows and devices that ran it. It’s not easy, in part because there have been times when the OS and the devices had different names, and times when they shared branding. And Microsoft has wavered between playing up the notion of a distinct mobile version of Windows and treating Windows as one universal platform. But here’s a quick chronology of everything I remember.