A few years ago, it seemed like everyone was using X in their software versions. Mac OS X. Windows XP with DirectX and ActiveX*. Flash MX, ColdFusion MX, and anything else by Macromedia MX. Macromedia managed to confuse things by releasing two rounds of MX versions, such as Flash MX, Flash MX 2004 (essentially versions 6 and 7).

It’s fallen a bit out of favor. Among those still unwilling to use plain version numbers, vintages are still popular. Office 2007, Norton Security Suite 2006, etc. Even though Apple still uses the X to promote its operating system, the last two have put a lot of emphasis on the cat-themed code names: Panther, Tiger, Leopard. And then there’s Windows Vista.

What do you think the next naming fad will be?

*ActiveX was actually a cross between two naming fads. For a while, everything Microsoft did seemed to be Active—Active Desktop, Active Directory, etc.)