Trivia - Microsoft Code Names

<P class=MsoNormal><FONT face=Arial color=#000000 size=2><FONT color=#000000>Recently I was having a conversation with some colleagues of mine from Microsoft when I confessed that often I am more confused by the code names of the software products than I am by the technology. </FONT></FONT></P> <P class=MsoNormal><FONT face=Arial color=#000000 size=2><FONT color=#000000>Does anyone remember Cairo? Chicago? Whistler? Forgot Sphinx and Yukon already? Anyway, Terrence Dorsey sent me an interesting bit of trivia regarding the code names that I received his permission to post here. He explains a bit of background on where some of these code names propoertedly come from</FONT>.</FONT></P> <P class=MsoNormal><FONT face=Arial size=2></FONT> </P> <P class=MsoNormal><FONT face=Arial color=#000000 size=2><FONT color=#000000>Disclaimer time …. Terrence nor I stand behind the ultimate validity of these code name derivations</FONT>. </FONT></P> <P class=MsoNormal><FONT face=Arial size=2></FONT> </P> <P class=MsoNormal><FONT face=Arial color=#000000 size=2><FONT color=#000000>Quoted from Terrence</FONT> …</FONT></P> <BLOCKQUOTE dir=ltr style=”MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px”> <P class=MsoNormal><FONT face=Arial color=#000000 size=2>MSFT code names have never been particularly imaginative.</FONT></P> <P class=MsoNormal><FONT face=Arial size=2></FONT><FONT face=Arial size=2></FONT> </P> <P class=MsoNormal><FONT face=Arial color=#000000 size=2>Orcas is an island in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Puget Sound. It is a popular vacation spot for Microsofties of a certain age, hence its reference as a code name. Same story for Whidbey. </FONT></P> <P class=MsoNormal><FONT face=Arial size=2></FONT><FONT face=Arial size=2></FONT> </P> <P class=MsoNormal><FONT face=Arial color=#000000 size=2>Legend has it that, some years ago, a group of Windows PMs was talking about strategy over drinks after a day of skiing. They decided XP (the release being planned at that time) would be code named Whistler after one of the local ski areas, and the “next” version of Windows ten or so years down the line would be called Blackcomb after the ski area on the next mountain. An interim “dot” release was expected, and it would be named Longhorn after the bar in which they were drinking (and which happens to be half-way between the two mountains).</FONT></P> <P class=MsoNormal><FONT face=Arial size=2></FONT><FONT face=Arial size=2></FONT> </P> <P class=MsoNormal><FONT face=Arial color=#000000 size=2>Blackcomb was long ago dropped as a code name, though it still pops up from time to time. My take is that it remains for some folks a convenient name for “stuff to do in a release down the road.”</FONT></P> <P class=MsoNormal><FONT face=Arial size=2></FONT><FONT face=Arial size=2></FONT> </P> <P class=MsoNormal><FONT face=Arial color=#000000 size=2>Prior to Windows ME (confusingly code named Millennium, which was its actual name), Windows division used the name of the city in which the OS was announced as the code name.</FONT></P> <P class=MsoNormal><FONT face=Arial size=2></FONT><FONT face=Arial size=2></FONT> </P> <P class=MsoNormal><FONT color=#000000><FONT face=Arial size=2>eHome division has maintained the Whistler/Blackcomb theme by code naming its </FONT><FONT face=Arial size=2>release after specific ski runs on the mountain. (I just learned that from Ask.com. Also according to according to Ask.com and other sources, the code name Vienna is currently being used for two different projects. Ick.)</FONT></FONT></P></BLOCKQUOTE> <P class=MsoNormal><FONT face=Arial size=2></FONT> </P> <P class=MsoNormal><FONT face=Arial color=#000000 size=2><FONT color=#000000>So there you have it …I am not alone in my confusion </FONT>…</FONT></P> <P class=MsoNormal><FONT face=Arial color=#000000 size=2></FONT> </P>

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Hi, I'm John Papa. I author this blog, create courses for Pluralsight and am a Google Developer Expert and Microsoft Regional Director. I travel speaking at events and train technology thought leaders

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