John Howard - Senior Program Manager in the Hyper-V team at Microsoft

Senior Program Manager, Hyper-V team, Windows Core Operating System Division.

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contoso.com - why, who chose it, is it an anagram, is there a hidden meaning???

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I have to admit, I'd never given a second thought to the origin of the use of "contoso". Contoso is one of a handful of domain names used in many Microsoft demonstrations. One question asked me this morning was where the name came from, with a suggestion that it was possibly an anagram (but of what, I'm not sure).

After struggling to find anything on the Internet, I figured throwing this out to the wider Internet may yield a result. You never know. I have found that the name dates back to at least 1996 though (the days of good-old NT4).

Comments
  • Is there more to it than just dateing back to NT?

  • This page from David Gristwood talks about the origins of Contoso - "(btw, Contoso is a fictional company name that we created and registered a few years ago back in 1998, when I was involved in the BizApps event)"

    Maybe you could talk to him?

    http://weblogs.asp.net/david_gristwood/archive/2004/05/05/126460.aspx talks about

  • at the event we needed 2 companies, so someone in the product team came up with Contoso and Fabrikham, and in the BizApps events, all the integration scenarios where around these 2 companies doing business with each other. i have no idea where the names come from - i guess its like with setting up your own off-the-shelf Limited company, someone comes up with mixes of word & names. Fabrikham is a horrible name! Contoso is better, bu only just

  • Is there a missing paragraph to this post? Maybe you were interrupted halfway through this entry and figured you would come back to it later? The introduction you have is good, but where's the rest of the story?

  • No paragraph missing - that's the beauty of conspiracy theories :-) Like a good thriller, leave the audience dangling.

    It looks like the 1996 date I found on the Internet is incorrect - I have it on authority that the name contoso was first used in 1998. I'm researching a couple of names given to me for the original idea for the name.

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