Russian search giant just released a product named Cocaine. Yes, Cocaine

Was something lost in translation here?

Want to get users hooked on your latest product? Name it after a powerful drug.

Perhaps that's the thinking behind the move by Russian search giant Yandex - who some call the Google of Russia. The company today launched a new cloud-based application development product and named it, yes Cocaine.

It gets even better: It's free. As an open source project, it's available for download at no charge. Be careful kids, the first one's always free.

[HAPPY HALLOWEEN: World's craziest Halloween coffins ]

Besides the ridiculous name (was something lost in translation here from Russian to English, by the way?) the product is actually an interesting move in the cloud industry.

Google has a strong play with its Google App Engine Platform as a Service (PaaS). Cocaine from Yandex is meant to be a competing platform and, unlike Google's, one that's all open source.

It's in a crowded market though, with other platforms like Cloud Foundry from Pivotal - the spinout from VMware and EMC - and OpenShift from Red Hat also being open source PaaS projects.

The entire Paas market is in an interesting position right now as well. IaaS vendors like Amazon Web Services are adding more PaaS-like features to their products to automate the scaling of applications deployed on their infrastructure. Major SaaS companies like Salesforce.com are getting in the PaaS game too by creating Foundry.com for building new applications that integrate in with the company's CRM tool.

But perhaps a catchy name like Cocaine will get people hooked on Yandex's new platform.

 UPDATE: Response from Yandex: Cocaine is an acronym for “Configurable Omnipotent Custom Applications Integrated Network Engine.” Really? That’s the acronym they chose for the product? I’m not sure if that makes this whole situation better or worse.

Senior Writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing for Network World and NetworkWorld.com. He can be reached at BButler@nww.com and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW.

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