'Windows 7' no longer a code name

In a break with tradition, Microsoft has decided to use the code name for the next version of Windows as the official moniker.

Windows 7 will be the official name of Microsoft's next operating system, announced Mike Nash, corporate vice president of the company's Windows product management group.

As anticipated, Nash reiterated Microsoft's plans to release what he calls a "pre-beta developer only release" to those attending the company's Professional Developers Conference and WinHEC, which will both take place in Los Angeles during the last week of October and first week of November, respectively.

In the past, prior versions of Windows had code-names such as Longhorn, for Vista, Whistler for XP and for those with long memories, Chicago for Windows 95. Nash said the decision to stick with the code-name was to simplify its message. "This is the seventh release of Windows, so therefore "Windows 7" just makes sense," he wrote. "Coming up with an all-new aspirational name does not do justice to what we are trying to achieve."

Until recently, Microsoft has been relatively tight-lipped on its plans for Windows. But at PDC, Microsoft is now planning 22 sessions focused on Windows 7 that cover topics ranging from APIs for building context-aware applications and a new shell user experience, to information on how to build touch-based apps and designing "efficient" background processes, among others.

While Microsoft has not said when it will ship Windows 7, it is believed the company is hoping to release it late next year or sometime in 2010. Microsoft appears to pushing hard on the next release of Windows as it becomes increasingly clear businesses are passing on the most recent version, Vista, opting instead to downgrade to the older Windows XP.

Indeed the number of enterprises foregoing Vista is significant, according to this month's Redmond magazine cover story . According to Forrester Research Inc., enterprise market share for client PCs showed that 87 percent use Windows XP, while 10 percent use Vista, which began shipping nearly two years ago, the report noted.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is the online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group sites, including Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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