Yes, if you’ve been paying attention to the news this past week, you know that Microsoft raised objections from the Tulalip Tribes of Snohomish County, north of Seattle, for the use of the internal code name “Tulalip” for a Microsoft Research social networking project that was (inadvertently, the company says) leaked to the web.
Today the Herald newspaper in Everett reports that the dispute has been resolved, quoting a statement from tribal leaders: “We accept Microsoft’s explanation that this was an internal code name that was never intended to be used publicly. We appreciate Microsoft’s swift corrective action, and we consider this matter resolved. We have a good relationship with Microsoft and expect that relationship to continue.”
The Herald also quotes a statement from Microsoft apologizing for the situation and saying that the code name won’t be used in connection with the research project anymore.
For what it’s worth, the company’s explanation makes sense. Followers of Microsoft Research know that there are hundreds of projects going on inside the company’s research unit, and plenty of them never see the light of day in those forms, even if they contribute in some form to the company’s shipping products.
That said, Microsoft’s actual registration of the socl.com domain for the project is intriguing — suggesting the possibility, at least, of bigger plans.