Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had wanted the company’s AI to be called “Bingo,” according to former Microsoft product manager Sandeep Paruchuri.
Speaking to WhatsApp’s Alice Newton Rex for Big Bets, Parachuri said Ballmer, who served as Microsoft CEO from 2000 to 2014, had intended for the AI to be called Bingo so it would be more in line with the branding for Microsoft’s “Bing” search engine.
“Ballmer had poor product taste,” Parachuri told Big Bets. However, Ballmer’s successor, Satya Nadella, ultimately agreed with Parachuri’s team that “Cortana” was a more appropriate name.
Of course, the AI would eventually be called “Cortana,” based on the eponymous blue AI from Microsoft’s iconic Halo video game franchise. Given that Halo is continuing to go strong 20 years after its debut, while Bing is not many people’s go-to search engine, the decision to name the AI after the former arguably seems to have panned out better.
Overall, Parachuri’s interview with Big Bets is quite an interesting read, going behind-the-scenes on the making of Microsoft’s AI. You can read it in full here.
Image credit: Xbox
Source: Big Bets