While reviewing some documentation earlier this week, the company Microsoft used for the examples was Contoso. Knowing that I had seen that many times before, my curiosity was piqued. Looking into it, I first noticed that the Contoso.com URL redirects to Microsoft.com. There is also a Contoso Bank website used as an example for Internet Explorer’s SmartScreen filter.
One of 2011’s April Fools stunts from Google was a blog article saying how Contoso “has gone Google” by switching to Google Apps.
Proving that Wikipedia holds a wide variety of random information, there is, of course, an article titled List of Fictional Microsoft Companies. It lists over 30 made-up companies that Microsoft uses in their demos and documentation including Contoso, A. Datum Corporation, Woodgrove Bank, and others. Many of them list websites that redirect to Microsoft.com and note where the example companies are used. Check out the article for a little break from your certification studying or documentation reading to see the continuity of these example companies.