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Microsoft’s new Vista – can you see through it?

by Bob Crabtree on 25 July 2005, 00:00

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By now anyone within 10 feet of a computer, TV, or mobile phone has heard that Microsoft’s visionary Chairman Bill Gates told the minions attending the Microsoft Global Sales Briefing, last Friday (an internal sales event) in Atlanta Georgia in the USA that from that day henceforth the long-used and somewhat abused name “Longhorn” would be expunged from the vocabulary of all Microsofties and most likely anyone wanting to have any association with mighty Microsoft – that would include, well, the universe, right? I’m OK with that, Vista is a cooler name than Longhorn, and in fact, I personally didn’t like the Longhorn name all that much to begin with, reminded me of big mean-tempered cows I had met when I lived in Texas a few million years ago. And you can bet his chairmaness paid a bunch of hard working, smart, creative types - backed up by a bunch of equally smart but better-paid lawyers - to come up with that name. It wasn’t like Bill was standing looking out the window of his office, about to sip some of Seattle’s finest brown brew and he says, “Man what a vista. Vista, Yeah! We’ll call that five-year-late project Vista. I love it. Margaret, call legal.” Nuthuh, didn’t happen that way. More likely, and mind you I have absolutely no inside information, this is just crazy Jon’s crazy speculation, he said, “I hate that goddamn cowboy name, who the hell came up with that? Can’t we get something with a little more class that reflects the glory and imagination of our new sink-or-save-the-company OS?”

OK, so he/they have now named it, and you were there in history when it happened so you can now add that to your memoirs and diaries.

You may recall Microsoft has gone through this process before, maybe every time; giving a project a code or working name, and then a final marketing name when it's nearly finished. Windows XP was code-named "Whistler," before it became XP.

Code names are fun. They make the dwebe in all of us who want to be on the inside think we’re cool. Actually, more importantly, we want others to think we’re cool and on the inside track, it’s like bragging about a date in high school that you never actually had. “Yeah, Bill asked me what I thought about the name and I sez, well, Bill, I sez…” So we go around spouting company’s code names to impress our friends and amuse ourselves. It reminds me of the annoying habit wannabies have about calling celebrities by their first name even though they’ve never met them or been in the same room with them. “Ya know, I thought Tom, did a pretty good job in WOTWs when he…” But that’s another rant for another time.

The real question for the day is it a Vista or is it some Vistas?

As you may recall, the looooong awaited Loooooonghorn is/was going to include:

  • Avalon, Longhorn’s Presentation manager
  • Image quality enhancements
  • The Windows Graphics Foundation (WGF)
  • The Longhorn Device Driver Model (LDDM)

And Avalon (I wonder if that too will be renamed) was going to come to you in two flavors known as “Aero,” and “Aero Glass,” where the runty Aero version was a compromise being offered for older systems and the ever-challenged integrated, cheap but “good enough” graphics found in most of the PCs (desktop and mobile) made in the last couple of years. Aero Glass is for people who read this dribble, the performance clan, the folks who understand the importance of a good looking pixel delivered warm, on time, and frequently.

Most likely Vista will be the cover name and the innards of the new OS will remain the same. Based on what we learned at WinHec that is the case, and the project is way too far along to be dramatically changed now.

So we can assume there will be Aero Vista and Aero Glass Vista (we have a very clever radio producer in the US named Ira Glass who has a kind of nasally voice - and I can’t say or even think “Aero Glass,” without getting a vision of him. Just thought I’d share that with you NPR fans.)

At this point we could launch into a hilarious litany of vista and glass dipoles (vistas through glass, etc.) but let's skip that for now. Let’s instead consider what they meant when someone from Microsoft (most likely Brad Goldberg, general manager for Windows product management) said they would “release the first of two test versions to developers and information technology professionals by Aug. 3.” (Interestingly at the end of Siggraph, I’m sure there’s no connection, but boy oh boy can you imagine the leaks, and all the inside people making whispered comments about it at the show?) Seems to me “two” versions of Vista makes it Vistium, or Visties. And it seems to me the two versions will be Vista Glass (OK I did it, I’m sorry), and Vista Ira Glass, er Aero Glass. Or maybe it will be Vista Glass I and Vista Glass II, hmmm.

OK, look, I can’t help it - Vista's features will include better ways to visualize data, such as seeing through [glass?] windows that are stacked atop each other.

Vista will come out late in late 2006 (or maybe 2007.) So next to calling people you don’t know by their first names, and using other company’s internal code names, the coolest thing will be to have an early Vista tchotchke; y’know, a T-shirt, or a coffee cup, maybe a pen. Right now there’s a printing press in Settle stamping out “Vista Team” shirts for the Microsofties working on the project – imagine what they’ll go for on Ebay. (Remember the empty and useless Xbox 360 face plates?) I have my extra large gangsta version T-shirt on order.

And for a wrap up, I direct you, without comment, to: . Once there, click on the video. And if you think that’s funny, visit:

In about a week I’m going to check the most frequent Google’d words. After Hilton I expect to find Vista.

HEXUS Forums :: 18 Comments

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I wanna know what happened with those cows.
What a silly name. :heckle:
Will Vista live up to the hype MS are building up around it. Roll on August 3rd
not as silly as chosing a name of an existing company. Oh dear, this could be expensive again for MS….

M$ will prob just send a cheque