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Longhorn RTM – what it means to you

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Competition Winner After Microsoft's surreal decision to celebrate the 'release' of its next version of Windows internally with a party, two years early, we invited you to offer better suggestions for the acronym RTM. Historically it's stood for Release To Manufacturing, but a more appropriate definition was clearly needed.

And four hundred of you took up the challenge.

Offering "Release To Marketing", Chris Derson adds "but I expect you'll get lots of similar suggestions. Indeed, Chris - this was a very popular choice. So popular we can't name all the submitters.

"Released to Media" was popular, thank you Jonah Tsai and Kurt Kwart, as were several close variations, with Chris Hughes' "Rumoured to Media" being strictly more accurate. "Release To Magazines" wins Paul Collins' vote ("Bring on the ludicrously early product reviews).

"Reluctant to Materialize?" asks Nathan Barclay, with a similar theme from Steve Mann in New York ("Really There, Mostly") and Garrett Howlett ("Ready Tomorrow, Maybe"). Joseph Haig wonders "Does RTM stand for "Released This Millenium" or is that too optimistic?" Mark Southee had the same idea.

A reader who identifies himself only as "vaportrail" offers three pungent definitions: "Reinforce the Monopoly" "Reap The Moolah" and "Ream The Masses". Variations include "Rake The Money" (Steve Bitto) and "Receive The Money" (Craig Ballantyne). Surprisingly there weren't more monopolies: W William Chen thinks it’s a "Recognition of Total Monopoly" party and Ed Martucci offers "Relish The Monopoly".

"Really Trivial Modifications" offers a reader known as "hooj2n", and in a similar vein, Jon Williamson offers "Requirements Tolerably Met".

Chris Barrington wins points for reading the story, and noting the derivation of the codenames with his suggestion "Retreat To the Mountains". "Release This Mess" begs Ben Smith.

There was only one attempt at a GNU-style recursive acronym. This one from Michael "Mikey San" Watson: "RTM, 'Tis A Myth".

A close call, but no cigar to Mike Landers and Sharon Novotny and Steve Chadbourne for their accurate, and tantalizings suggestion of "Redmond Time Machine," … "which they use to travel forward in time to the actual release date," explains Steve.

"Redmond Team Motivator" suggests Erik Schmidt. Don Porter of Yerington, NV disqualified himself immediately by asking "What's a world cup?

Mason McDaniel offers an interesting three row table in Latin. Noun Modifier Verb, he instructs, and offers some suggestions. From which we picked Rapina (ravishment); Tardus (slow, late, tardy) or Tergo (in the rear, from behind); and Maculo (to stain, blemish, defile, pollute) or Maligno (to contrive/ do maliciously). Very educational, Mason, but unfortunately it left the feckless competition judge with all the work to do. So a worthy runner-up.

Mort Time Please, Mr Allchin

Seasoned coder Mats Helander also expands our vocabulary. " Apropos your article and your question what RTM would now stand for," he writes, "I'm hazarding that maybe the acronym reads Release To Mort ("Mort" mysteriously being the internal MS label on their lowest-level-of-competence developer customers - i e your everyday VB coder)"

Can this be true?

A strange cluster of entries were inspired by the movie The Wizard of Oz. "Release The Monkeys" insist Mark Lively, Brian Richardson, Mark Trinder and Scott McKay, although Scott says he's thinking of typewriters. And Jason Phillips, too, but he disqualified himself by appending a Lenny Kravitz lyric to his sig file: invoking the sudden death clause. Daniel Silverman offers us monkeys too, and the acidic and very fine "Return Torvalds Manuals" winning himself Third Place. There are no prizes for Third Place. A plaintive "Redmond Timing Mistake" is offered by Monkey-releasing Paul Edmonds.

Jon Hohle thinks RTM is the "Right to Makestuffup" which he defines to include "things like pseudo-release dates, security initiatives, and words like makestuffup."

But step forward Jeff Judkins of Beverley, MA for the clean simplicity of ...

"Reinvent The Milestones."

Elegance itself, Mr Judkins, who wins himself a Register T-shirt and a beer with the competition judge. In no way did the geographical distance from Mass. to Ca. factor in the calculations. Now we must retrieve the T-shirt from the street person to whom we lent it several weeks ago.

Thanks to you all for taking part. ®

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