Windows 7 is.... Windows 7
It's official: Microsoft's next Windows version, currently being developed under the codename Windows 7, will use that moniker as its official final name when it hits the market in early 2010. The news, delivered as is so often the case these days via a blog, was widely anticipated.
"Since we began development of the next version of the Windows client operating system we have been referring to it by a codename, 'Windows 7,'" Microsoft Corporate Vice President Mike Nash said. "But now is a good time to announce that we've decided to officially call the next version of Windows, 'Windows 7.'"
As Nash notes in the post, Microsoft has used a variety of naming conventions for its Windows products over the years, including years (Windows 95, 98), version numbers (Windows 3.1), and so-called "aspirational" monikers like Windows XP and Vista. With Windows 7, however, the company felt that the Windows 7 name was simple and appropriate, since this will be the seventh major version of the OS.
Good. Sometimes, I sigh a huge relief when a bit of prudence, sense and sound judgement comes out of Redmond - and, quite frankly, that's not very often. I was always highly skeptical of the name Windows Vista, though much of that could have been to do with the fact that I'd known that version of the OS as its codename 'Longhorn' for several years before the final name was revealed. Okay, I get the fact it was meant to be an 'aspirational' name but really, 'Vista' just didn't cut it with me.
Windows 7, of course, started life as the codename 'Blackcomb' and was referred to in passing even before XP has shipped back in 2001. Internally, it was later referred to as Vienna and Seven. Whistler, for the record, was the codename for XP with Longhorn and Blackcomb being two other mountains in British Columbia which formed the basis for Microsoft's OS nomenclature. The relative small size of the mountain Longhorn compared to Whistler and Blackcomb was supposed to represent the current thinking of scale when the projects were named: XP and Windows 7 as we now know them were meant to be the big, kitchen sink releases; Vista was originally envisioned as being an interim release between the two.
Quite whether there is reason to get excited about Windows 7 is another matter all together. The current feeling seems to be that it's going to be very much a 'Vista Second Edition' rather than another radical departure. Oh well... I'm still itching to get my hands on an early build! Anyone?!?