Where did the name for Microsoft Access come from?

Raymond Chen

We’ve seen how the names for some Microsoft products had to be changed due to a name conflict. I’m told that the people who had to come up with the name for the database product avoided this pitfall in a clever way: Instead of trying to avoid a name that was already taken, they intentionally used a name that was already taken: By Microsoft itself.

They discovered that Microsoft had a long-forgotten terminal emulator product called Microsoft Access. “Access” sounded like an appropriate name for a database product, so they blew the dust off it and gave the name a new life.


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