Windows 7 has thus far been the codename given to Microsoft's forthcoming successor to Windows Vista. We'd been under the assumption that the final product would ship under a different guise, but Microsoft appears to have had a change of heart.
Speaking on the official Windows Vista blog - which is already looking tired in comparison to the Windows 7 alternative - Microsoft's Mike Nash confirms that Microsoft has decided to officially call the next version of Windows, "Windows 7."
The announcement doesn't come as a complete surprise, and the name given to the seventh technical release of Windows makes implicit sense. Here's a brief look at how the Windows timeline shapes up:
|Product name||Version / Build||Release date|
|Windows 1.01||1.01||November 1985|
|Windows 2.03||2.03||November 1987|
|Windows 2.11||2.11||March 1989|
|Windows 3.0||3.0||May 1990|
|Windows 3.1||3.1||March 1992|
|Windows 95||4.0.950||August 1995|
|Windows 98||4.10.1998||June 1998|
|Windows 2000||NT 5.0.2195||February 2000|
|Windows ME||4.90.3000||September 2000|
|Windows XP||NT 5.1.2600||October 2001|
|Windows Vista||NT 6.0.6001||January 2007|
|Windows 7||NT 6.1.6801 (milestone 3)||Late 2009 / Early 2010|
We'd assume that Windows 7 will be given a final version number of 7.0.x, and Nash explains the naming decision as follows:
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. 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, while evolving and refining the substantial investments in platform technology in Windows Vista into the next generation of Windows.
Simply put, this is the seventh release of Windows, so therefore "Windows 7" just makes sense.
We haven't been certain about other product names announced this year, but Windows 7, we feel, sounds about right. It almost has a humble feel to it, as if to say Windows Vista aimed too high and fell a little short.