Seeking to distance itself even further from Microsoft, the CodePlex Foundation has officially changed its name to the Outercurve Foundation, the company announced Tuesday. Paula Hunter, who is the executive director of the foundation, said the name change should reduce confusion between the organisation and Microsoft's site for hosting its own open source software projects, called Codeplex.com.
"We've created more confusion with the CodePlex brand than it has been worth for us," she said. "Many people have associated the [CodePlex.com]'s activities with us and vice versa."
Microsoft launched the CodePlex Foundation in September 2009 as a way of bridging the open source and business communities. The organisation has since attempted to distance itself from its Microsoft roots, looking for outside funding and insisting on platform neutrality.
"Our focus is bringing together open source developers, commercial software developers and corporate IT together to collaborate on open source projects," Hunter said. "We provide the IT management and oversight, and the developers focus on the code associate on the project."
Still, the organisation's roots, as well as Microsoft's interest in open source, have remained a point of contention. The organisation formerly known as CodePlex has been criticized for having a board too heavily populated with Microsoft personnel. In May, the organisation hired Stephen Walli as technical director, and he had worked for Microsoft as well.
Thus far, CodePlex manages seven open source projects, including package management software, and a set of parsers for network management tools. The company expects to announce some other projects in the near future, Hunter said.
To generate a new name, the organisation consulted with a branding company, Protobrand. Hunter admitted that finding a new name was a difficult undertaking.
"Naming these days is very tricky," she said. Not only did the organisation need a name that was not already trademarked or copyrighted, but also had an open web address, or URL (Uniform Resource Locator). "Outercurve resonated with us, and also had a very clean URL and trademark search."