Adobe – came from name of the river Adobe Creek that ran behind the house of founder John Warnock.
Apache – It got its name because its founders got started by applying patches to code written for NCSA’s httpd daemon. The result was ‘A PAtCHy’ server — thus, the name Apache
Jakarta (project from Apache) – A project constituted by SUN and Apache to create a webserver handling servlets and JSPs. Jakarta was name of the conference room at SUN where most of the meetings between SUN and Apache took place.
Tomcat – The servlet part of the Jakarta project. Tomcat was the code- name for the JSDK 2.1 project inside SUN.
Apple Computers – favourite fruit of founder Steve Jobs. He was three months late in filing a name for the business, and he threatened to call his company Apple Computers if the other colleagues didn’t suggest a better name by 5 o’clock.
C – Dennis Ritchie improved on the B programming language and called it ‘New B’. He later called it C. Earlier B was created by Ken Thompson as a revision of the Bon programming language (named after
his wife Bonnie)
C++ – Bjarne Stroustrup called his new language ‘C with Classes’ and then new C’. Because of which the original C began to be called ‘old C’ which was considered insulting to the C community. At this time Rick Mascitti suggested the name C++ as a successor to C.
CISCO – its not an acronymn but the short for San Francisco.
Compaq – using COMp, for computer, and PAQ to denote a small integral object.
Corel – from the founder’s name Dr. Michael Cowpland. It stands for COwpland REsearch Laboratory.
GNU – a species of African antelope. Founder of the GNU project Richard Stallman liked the name because of the humour associated with its pronuniciation and was also influenced by the children’s song ‘The Gnu Song’ which is a song sung by a gnu. Also it fitted into the recursive acronym culture with ‘GNU’s Not Unix’.
Google – the name started as a jokey boast about the amount of information the search-engine would be able to search. It was originally named ‘Googol’, a word for the number represented by 1 followed by 100 zeros. After founders – Stanford grad students Sergey Brin and Larry Page presented their project to an angel investor, they received a cheque made out to ‘Google’ !
HCL – Hindustan Computers Ltd. started by Shiv Nadar.
Hotmail – Founder Jack Smith got the idea of accessing e-mail via the web from a computer anywhere in the world. When Sabeer Bhatia came up with the business plan for the mail service, he tried all kinds of names ending in mail’ and finally settled for hotmail as it included the letters “html” – the programming language used to write web pages. It was initially referred to as HoTMaiL with selective upper casing.
HP – Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard tossed a coin to decide whether the company they founded would be called Hewlett-Packard or Packard-Hewlett.
Intel – Bob Noyce and Gordon Moore wanted to name their new company ‘Moore Noyce’ but that was already trademarked by a hotel chain, so they had to settle for an acronym of INTegrated ELectronics.
Java – Originally called Oak by creator James Gosling, from the tree that stood outside his window, the programming team had to look for a substitute as there was another language with the same name. Java was selected from a list of suggestions. It came from the name of the coffee that the programmers drank.
LG – combination of two popular Korean brands Lucky and Goldstar.
Linux – Linus Torvalds originally used the Minix OS on his system which he replaced by his OS. Hence the working name was Linux (Linus’ Minix). He thought the name to be too egotistical and planned to name it Freax(free + freak + x). His friend Ari Lemmke encouraged Linus to upload it to a network so it could be easily downloaded. Ari gave Linus a directory called linux on his FTP server, as he did not like
the name Freax. (Linus’ parents named him after two-time Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling)
Lotus (Notes) – Mitch Kapor got the name for his company from ‘The Lotus Position’ or ‘Padmasana’. Kapor used to be a teacher of Transcendental Meditation of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Microsoft – coined by Bill Gates to represent the company that was devoted to MICROcomputer SOFTware. Originally christened Micro-Soft, the ‘-‘ was removed later on.
Motorola – Founder Paul Galvin came up with this name when his company started manufacturing radios for cars. The popular radio company at the time was called Victrola.
Mozilla – When Marc Andreesen, founder of Netscape, created a broswer to replace Mosaic (also developed by him), it was named Mozilla (Mosaic-Killer, Godzilla). The marketing guys didn’t like the name however and it was re-christened Netscape Navigator.
ORACLE – Larry Ellison and Bob Oats were working on a consulting project for the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency). The code name for the project was called Oracle(the CIA saw this as the system to give answers to all questions or something such). The project was designed to help use the newly written SQL code by IBM. The project eventually was terminated but Larry and Bob decided to finish what they started and bring it to the world. They kept the name Oracle and created the RDBMS engine. Later they kept the same name for the company.
Red Hat – Company founder Marc Ewing was given the Cornell lacrosse team cap (with red and white stripes) while at college by his father. He lost it and had to search for it desperately. The manual of the
beta version of Red Hat Linux had an appeal to readers to return his Red Hat if found by anyone !
SAP – “Systems, Applications, Products in Data Processing”, formed by 4 ex-IBM employees who used to work in’Systems/Applications/Projects’ group of IBM.
SCO (UNIX) – from Santa Cruz Operation. The company’s office was in Santa Cruz.
Sony – from the Latin word ‘sonus’ meaning sound, and ‘sonny’ a slang used by Americans to refer to a bright youngster.
SUN – founded by 4 Stanford University buddies, SUN is the acronym for Stanford University Network. Andreas Bechtolsheim built a microcomputer; Vinod Khosla recruited him and Scott McNealy to
manufacture computers based on it, and Bill Joy to develop a UNIX-based OS for the computer.
UNIX – When Bell Labs pulled out of MULTICS (MULTiplexed Information and Computing System), which was originally a joint Bell/GE/MIT project, Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie of Bell Labs wrote a simpler version of the OS. They needed the OS to run the game Space War which was compiled under MULTICS. It was called UNICS – UNIplexed operating and Computing System by Brian Kernighan. It was later shortened to UNIX.
Xerox – The inventor, Chestor Carlson, named his product trying to say dry’ (as it was dry copying, markedly different from the then prevailing wet copying). The Greek root `xer’ means dry.
Yahoo! – the word was invented by Jonathan Swift and used in his book Gulliver’s Travels’. It represents a person who is repulsive in appearance and action and is barely human. Yahoo! founders Jerry Yang and David Filo selected the name because they considered themselves yahoos.
3M – Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company started off by mining the material corundum used to make sandpaper.