Microsoft Draws a Branding Line in the Sand

This week, Chris Webb (dashing BI guru) published a post about the branding changes Microsoft recently announced for their Power BI products. One of these branding changes is that “Power Query” will be referred to as “Get & Transform”. So in Office 2016, you won’t see Power Query in the Ribbon. Instead, you will see


Yes… we are going from the relatively descriptive “Power Query” to the nebulous “Get & Transform”.

Sigh….what can I say? They used the word GET.

This is one of the greatest advances in functionality in

Excel over the last 10 years and they use Get? How about “Extract & Transform”? How about “Query & Transform”? Surely there are better terms than Get.

I swear they almost called it “Get your Transform On


I personally find the name change disappointing.

The name Power Query is descriptive. It exactly points to what this tool does.

Chris hypothesizes that the name change is an effort to reduce confusion and to give Excel commoners a warm and fuzzy about all the scary magic that comes out of Power Query.

Well what’s more confusing than this:

Knock Knock.

Who’s There?

Data Explorer…er I mean Power Query…no wait…I mean Get & Transform.

And about those common Excel users who need a cozy name? Well, from what I can gather from the frequent updates to the Power Query Add-ins over the last two years, many of us have been using the Power Query Add-ins and suggesting new ways to improve it. That doesn’t sound like a user-base that is shying away from this functionality.


If we’re looking to dumb things down, why stop at Get & Transform? Heck let’s rename everything.

Rename Styles “Pretty Colors”. Oh and no one knows what Conditional Formatting means. Better make that simpler too.

And the word “Charts” is soooo last year.

Let’s call that group “Big Sexy”.

And while we’re at it…


Joking aside, here is what (I believe) is driving these branding changes.

“Power BI” is being positioned as an Enterprise-Level offering. If the perception is that we can get that sweet Power BI milk directly in Excel, then why buy the cow? We don’t want to confuse Excel with real BI do we? So in an effort to remove any doubt that Power BI and Excel are different, all references to the word “Power” will be wiped away.

  • Power Query is now referred to as Get & Transform.
  • Power Maps is now referred to as 3D Maps.
  • Power View will continue to exist in Excel 2016, but it will be hidden away a la Zelda Goldman from Pet Semetary. If you’re using Power View in Excel 2013, you may as well start rebuilding those in Power BI Desktop now. All the cool new stuff being built for Power View is going into Power BI Desktop (not the version that comes with Excel).


As for me, I personally will continue to call Power Query what it is – “Power Query”.

I’ll only call it Get & Transform when Microsoft renames PowerPoint.




15 thoughts on “Microsoft Draws a Branding Line in the Sand

  1. datapig Post author

    John: Ughh…dont get me started about Microsoft calling Web Apps Add-ins.

    I’m positive there are teams dedicated to finding a way out of VBA as soon as possible.

    They’re jumping the gun on their “These aren’t your father’s Add-ins” campaign.

    The least they could do is wait until Web Apps are worth a look. Even then…come up with a new name!

  2. Chris Newman

    Loved the rant Mike, especially renaming the Code group, “Old people magic”!!!!

    I personally think that “Get and Transform” is going to cause more confusion because of its vague-ness. But I guess the real question is, do people really pay attention to the Ribbon group names? I find myself paying more attention to the button names and the icon when I am looking at features.

  3. Chris Webb

    …dashing BI guru? I’m flattered 🙂

    Anyway, thanks for the post. Having got in trouble too many times for being negative about news like this, I always try to find some kind of positive angle… but as I said, I was pretty annoyed when I heard about the name change. Sadly, I think it’s too late to do anything about it.

  4. datapig Post author

    Gilley: lol

    If Power Query was called “Go on and Git” I would totally use that name.

    I’d be first to write “Go on and Git For Dummies”

  5. AlexJ

    An unhappy thought – is it possible that the branding change indicates MS will limit or reduce “Power BI” functionality in Excel while enhancing only on the Power BI platform?

  6. Yigal Edery [MSFT]


    This is a fun article, but also calls for some clarifications.

    For all of you who are concerned about BI functionality in Excel, you can relax and know that we’re 100% committed to continued investment in Excel as the world leading data analysis tool, and to making Excel work GREAT with the Power BI platform.

    You’re welcome to read the details of how Excel 2016 has become an even better BI tool here:

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