So much for codenames. Mike Nash, corporate vice president for Windows product management, today announced that Microsoft's upcoming operating system is to be officially named after its codename, Windows 7.
The news was posted on Microsoft's official Windows 7 blog and comes just two weeks prior to the Professional Developer Conference, Microsoft's big developer show set to take place in Los Angeles beginning October 27.
Attendees of the show will get what's called a "pre-beta 'developer only release'" at the show. The day one opening keynote will feature Ray Ozzie, chief software architect at Microsoft, and Steve Sinofsky, the executive in charge of the Windows team.
Sinofsky was previously in charge of the Office team, where he was credited with delivering Office on time, within budget and with all of the features he'd promised to deliver. Windows Vista, the last version of the client, pretty much failed to meet all three of those marks.
The news is a hallmark of Sinofsky's modus operandi: a slow but regular release of information, and never promising too much. You can't get much more sparse than just a product name, but Nash said it carried significance.
"The decision to use the name Windows 7 is about simplicity. Over the years, we have taken different approaches to naming Windows. We've used version numbers like Windows 3.11, or dates like Windows 98, or "aspirational" monikers like Windows XP or Windows Vista … Simply put, this is the seventh release of Windows, so therefore 'Windows 7' just makes sense," he wrote, in part.
Anything but Vista?
Well they sure weren't going to use the word "Vista" in it. Mike Cherry, analyst with Directions on Microsoft, said the name makes sense. "It downplays Vista, and I think it's good because it is the seventh version of NT and this puts things back into proper prospective. I wish they would do it with more products because these names are becoming ridiculous," he said.
PDC runs from October 27 to October 30. The following week will be the Windows Hardware Engineering (WinHEC) conference, from November 4 to November 7, also in Los Angeles, and Windows 7 will be the focus of much discussion at that show as well.
Microsoft has publicly stated that Windows 7 will be commercially available in early 2010, but other sources have said it could ship as early as June 2009.