What’s in a Name? For Cheap PCs, Nothing

nullYesterday Intel Corp., (s INTC) and today Microsoft (s MSFT), gave us more proof that their branding skills are as limited as my ability to strike out a major league baseball player.

Intel wants to name its new thin, light and low-power consuming notebooks CULV, aka Consumer Ultra Low Voltage. Many of these devices will be nearly as thin as the MacBook Air. Today, an executive disclosed that Microsoft wants to call mini-notebooks “low-cost small notebooks.” Both of these monikers are about as appealing as the sensation one gets after accidentally rubbing sea salt on a fresh wound.

There are other category-defining names that have been floated by various companies over the past few months, such as smartbooks, UMPC, netbooks and cloud computers. Whatever the name, they are essentially cheap PCs. Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO of Nvidia, summed up my feeling when he said, “Netbooks are not a new category, instead they are just cheap PCs. The $399 PC is here to stay and it will get better and better.” Coming up with a fancy (or convoluted) name isn’t going to change that!