Tulalips, Microsoft amicably settle name issue

TULALIP — No hard feelings, tribal leaders say.

The question of whether tribal leadership was upset with the use of “Tulalip” for a prototype of a Microsoft social media design project was answered Thursday evening when the tribes’ Board of Directors issued the following statement:

“W

e 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.”

About 10 minutes after the Tulalips put out their statement, Microsoft released its own, saying the company officials had spoken with the tribal representatives.

“We respect the fact that the Tulalip Tribes have sensitivities around the use of their name and have spoken with a representative of the Tribes. This was an internal code name and Microsoft had no intention of using this project code name publically(sic). This internal code name will not be used in connection with this research project going forward. We apologize to the Tulalip Tribes for this situation.”

It all came about when Microsoft last week published online a prototype of an uber-secret social media design project with the name Tulalip.

The site’s introductory page said, “With Tulalip, you can Find what you want and Share what you know easier than ever.”

Also shown were non-working links for “See how it works,” “Privacy Statement,” and “Terms of Service.”

The splash page was replaced the same day it appeared with a message acknowledging the error: “Thanks for stopping by. Socl.com is an internal design project from a team in Microsoft Research which was mistakenly published to the web. We didn’t mean to, honest.”

While techies were buzzing about the project, they were also left scratching their heads about the name.

Tulalip officials said earlier this week that they were trying to talk with the company to determine what Microsoft was doing.

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