As a company, Microsoft may not put much stock in numerology, but it could be hoping that a little bit of luck might ride along with this decision. In a first for the company, they’ve decided to make the codename for an upcoming operating system its real name when the product goes to market. Gone are the days of OS names like Windows Millennium Edition, Windows XP, and high-concept names like Windows Vista. No: the forthcoming WIndows 7 will be officially known as “Windows 7″—and will be the first time Windows has been named for its version number since the bad old days of Windows NT 4.0.
“The decision to use the name Windows 7 is about simplicity,” wrote Microsoft’s Mike Nash on the Windows Vista blog. “We’ve used version numbers like Windows 3.11, or dates like Windows 98, or ‘aspirational’ monikers like Windows XP or Windows Vista. And since we do not ship new versions of Windows every year, using a date did not make sense. Likewise, coming up with an all-new ‘aspirational’ name does not do justice to what we are trying to achieve, which is to stay firmly rooted in our aspirations for Windows Vista.”
Windows 7 was previously known by the codenames Blackcomb and Vienna.
Microsoft will be rolling out a pre-beta developer release of WIndows 7 at its PDC and WinHec conferences in the next few weeks, which will give developers and partners their first detailed look at what Microsoft hopes to achieve with Windows 7. Overall, Windows 7 doesn’t intend to stray very far from Windows Vista. Windows 7 will be more user-centric, roll in a number of performance improvements, increased integration with Microsoft’s online and mobile technologies, along with a taskbar overhaul, a wealth of new gadgets, and support for adventurous PC configurations, such as running multiple graphics cards from different vendors.