The name 'Xbox' is a shortened form of 'DirectX Box,' according to Microsoft engineer Seamus Blackley. Blackley has stated that suggested early names for the console included 'Midway,' a nod to the fact that the gaming system was a mid-point between a computer and a pure gaming console, or the 'Windows Entertainment Project,' or 'WEP' for short. The Xbox name was initially rejected by marketing and legal departments, forcing the project's early developers to brainstorm for new names, though the Xbox name won out in the end.
When Microsoft's marketing team initially suggested that consumers would not respond well to a product called 'Xbox,' the name was subjected to consumer testing. This testing actually revealed a positive consumer response, leading to the official adoption of the brand name as it is known today. In previous brainstorming sessions, teams came up with a variety of acronym-based names for the new console that were all eventually rejected in favor of Xbox. These names included MAX (Microsoft Action Experience), MOX (Microsoft Optimal Experience), M-PAC (Microsoft Play and Action Center), MARZ (Microsoft Active Reality Zone), TSO (Three, Six, Zero) and MIC (Microsoft Interactive Center).