For the grand total of £100,000 the Scottish Executive has rebranded itself as the Scottish Government because, apparently, most people had no idea what an executive did. Research carried out suggested that the term government had more relevance and was in keeping with the mission of the "act like a government".
Is that the main reason though? Well the alternative purpose would be to state it governs as opposed to executes. The latter term is more often associated with an executor, someone who acts on behalf of others. Now possibly this could be liked to the notion of representation and the executive, executing on behalf of the Scottish voters; but perhaps Alex Salmond wants to be clear that the Scottish Executive does not execute on behalf of Westminster.
Whether it is a step towards some form of independence is dubious, however it may signal a greater decision making role, and a greater credibility. So perhaps the name is important. Providing they do not have MSGs (Members of the Scottish Government) as this could be confused with monosodium glutamate; a flavour enhancer notoriously bad for health. No comment needed.