Farewell, Blue Cloud. we'll miss you. But your kids are looking good!

When IBM (NYSE:IBM) announced a bushel of cloud computing solutions yesterday, we saw a mature and very flexible set of platforms.

IBM sees its diversity of offerings as a competitive advantage. The new cloud computing products range from custom-built blade servers with pre-installed VMware (NYSE:VMW) virtual server software to fully managed, IBM-hosted clouds.

That last option sounds fairly similar to Amazon.com's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Elastic Computing Cloud -- but I don't think IBM is out to kill Amazon. The two have been working together for a while, with nicely packaged IBM software like DB2 and WebSphere available in the EC2 cloud since February.

Oh, and IBM really doesn't seem to play favorites -- EC2 images run on Xen virtual servers from Citrix Systems (NASDAQ:CTXS) rather than the VMware products found on IBM's own servers.

What's in a name?
And this is what became of the Blue Cloud project; you won't hear that catchy name from here on out. Ric Telford, IBM's VP of cloud services, told me in a phone interview that "Blue Cloud was never a brand name, more of an initiative. This is it, what we announced today."

It's a shame, really, but earwig code names in the high-tech world have a way of disappearing just when you'd want to hear them the most. Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD) did OK with the Opteron processor, but the Sledgehammer code name had a lot more punch. Would you rather buy an smartphone named Dream or G1? T-Mobile went with the G1 moniker, but could probably have sold more of those Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android gadgets under the more fanciful pre-launch name.

The Blue Cloud name screams "IBM!" at you and would have made a fine marketing tool. CloudBurst and Smart Business -- the new names for IBM's cloud services -- do have some punch but lack the obvious Big Blue-ness. I think it's a wasted opportunity to trade on Big Blue's famous nickname.

It all looks like a solid business plan with an IBM-scale breadth that few other companies (and none of the current competition) can match. It's just a shame about the name change.

Further Foolishness atop Cloud Nine:

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Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Google and AMD, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings or a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.