Microsoft went to great lengths to explain the Windows Vista name when it was announced in 2005. “Clear, Confident, Connected,” the slogan went. Later, when Vista debuted, it turned out that words such as “cumbersome” and “complicated” would have been more fitting, based on the experiences of early users.
Along with many other words not appropriate for publication.
So there’s some interesting symbolism in Microsoft’s choice of Windows 7 as the official product name for the next version. Announcing the news today in a blog post, Microsoft executive Mike Nash gave the impression that the choice is part of a broader effort by the Windows team to get back to basics.
“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.”
Of course, the numerical moniker doesn’t exactly bring to mind an inspirational scene, but most of the Windows users I’ve spent time with couldn’t care less about the name as long as it works with their printers, runs their software applications smoothly, and generally lives up to some basic expectations upon launch. The company will give the first detailed look at Windows 7 at its Professional Developers Conference at the end of this month in Los Angeles, and at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference in early November.
– Todd Bishop, email@example.com