Making sense of Windows code names
I have a partial list of the progression of code names for Windows Client family products:
- Janus: Windows 3.1
- Chicago: Windows 95
- Memphis: Windows 98
- Millenium: Windows Me
- Daytona: Windows NT 3.5
- Cairo: Windows NT 4.0
- Whistler: Windows XP
- Longhorn: Windows Vista
- Blackcomb: the next big thing
The last three are interesting. Whistler was named after Whistler Mountain in British Columbia. Likewise Blackcomb was named after Blackcomb Mountain nearby. It's as if Whistler is where we were with XP and Blackcomb is where we want to be in the not too long term. I've heard that Longhorn was named after a bar on the way from Whistler to Blackcomb. And that makes sense. Metaphorically, it is a rest stop on our way to the destination.
Similar logic was probably used when the names Whidbey (Visual Studio 2005), Fidalgo (Visual Studio 2005 Extensions for WinFX) and Orcas (the next VS rev with tools support) were coined: all islands in the straits off the northwest of WA state.
For those who despair the renaming of Longhorn, I have this to say: just about nobody remembers Whistler (the codename) anymore. People are perfectly comfortable calling it XP. The same will happen to Longhorn. Besides, it isn't the name, rather what's in the product that makes the difference.