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Microsoft codenames are the codenames given by Microsoft to products it has in development, before these products are given the names by which they appear on store shelves. Many of these products (new versions of Windows in particular) are of major significance to the IT community, and so the terms are often widely used in discussions prior to the official release. Microsoft usually does not announce a final name until shortly before the product is publicly available. It is not uncommon for Microsoft to reuse codenames a few years after a previous usage has been abandoned.
There has been some suggestion that Microsoft may move towards defining the real name of their upcoming products earlier in the product development lifecycle so as to avoid needing product codenames.
Operating systems [ edit ]
Windows 3.1x and 9x [ edit ]
Windows for Workgroups 3.1 Windows 3.1 (
16-bit) with enhanced networking; designed to work particularly well as a client with the new Windows NT.
[2 ] [3 ]
Windows for Workgroups 3.10
Windows for Workgroups 3.11
Although this release was still 16-bit Windows, it included a 32-bit TCP/IP stack (when running on compatible hardware). Along with
Win32s, this was one of the first steps towards moving the Windows desktop to a 32-bit code base.
Windows 95 The 32-bit protected mode kernel of Chicago (Windows 95) was codenamed Cougar and runs on top of Jaguar (Chicago kernel).
[5 ] [6 ]
Windows 95 OSR 2
Detroit, Michigan. A writer for Maximum PC suggested that "Detroit" and other Windows 95-era names were answers to the question posed by Microsoft's " Where do you want to go today?" marketing campaign.
Nashville Windows 96
N/A Cancelled upgrade for Windows 95; sometimes referred to in the press as
Windows 96. Codename was reused for Internet Explorer 4.0 and Windows Desktop Update which incorporated many of the technologies planned for Nashville.
Windows 97, Windows 4.1
ME stands for Millennium Edition.
Windows NT family [ edit ]
Windows NT 3.5 Named after the
Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.
SUR (Shell Update Release),
Cairo [11 ]
Windows NT 4.0 Microsoft originally planned for NT 4.0 to be just a simple "Shell Update Release" to integrate the Windows 95 GUI with Windows NT 3.51's kernel.
Microsoft Cluster Server
N/A Windows 2000
Windows 2000 itself did not have a codename because, according to Dave Thompson of Windows NT team, " Jim Allchin didn't like codenames". [14 ]
Windows NT 4.0 Embedded
Neptune Microsoft Neptune
[16 ] Dropped
Planned consumer version of Windows 2000, merged with Odyssey to form Whistler.
Planned successor to Windows 2000 for business customers, merged with Neptune to form Whistler.
Windows XP Named after
Whistler, British Columbia, where design retreats were held.
Windows XP Embedded Named after the
[17 ] [18 ]
Windows XP Media Center Edition
N/A Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004
N/A Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005
N/A Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 Update Rollup 2
N/A Windows Media Center
Included in Windows Vista
N/A Set of enhanced security features, included in
Windows XP Service Pack 2. [22 ]
Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005
[24 ] Windows Server 2002,
Windows .NET Server
Windows Server 2003
N/A Windows Small Business Server 2003
Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs Mönch included additional features for use on mobile devices.
[29 ] [30 ] [31 ]
Windows Vista Went gold (RTM) on 8 of November 2006. Named after the Longhorn Bar in the
Whistler-Blackcomb resort; initially planned as an "interim release" between "Whistler" and "Blackcomb" (which was "Vienna" and is now Windows 7).
Quattro [32 ] [33 ]
Windows Home Server
Windows Home Server 2011
Windows Server 2008
N/A Windows Small Business Server 2008
Windows Essential Business Server
Windows 7 [38 ] [39 ] Blackcomb is named after Blackcomb of Whistler-Blackcomb, BC, Canada. Vienna is the capital of Austria.
Windows Vista Media Center Feature Pack 2008 Windows Media Center TV Pack 2008
N/A Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials
Windows Embedded 2011
Windows Server 8
Windows Server 2012
Windows 10 Named after a location seen in
, which Halo: Combat Evolved Installation O4 orbits near. [46 ]
Windows CE family [ edit ]
Windows Phone [ edit ]
OS components [ edit ]
Code Integrity Rooting
BitLocker A security feature that checks and validates the integrity of Windows boot and system components.
[58 ] [59 ]
Windows 10 feature that enables hybrid devices to switch between tablet mode and desktop mode. An immediately manifest effect is the Start screen getting maximized in tablet mode.
Full disk encryption feature introduced in Windows Vista and present in subsequent versions that utilizes the
Trusted Platform Module to perform integrity checking prior to operating system startup.
[58 ] [61 ]
Cortana Named after an
artificial intelligence character in Halo
Windows Installer A
Windows service and application programming interface for installing software on computers running Microsoft Windows operating systems
Windows 95 codename
Microsoft Plus! for Windows 95
Terminal Services, Windows Terminal Server Terminal Server adds "multiheading" support to Windows (the ability to run multiple instances of the graphics subsystem), and the
hydra is a mythological monster with multiple heads.
Windows Runtime A new application framework on
Windows 8 used to create cross-platform "immersive" apps.
MSH, Microsoft Shell
Windows PowerShell "Monads", according to philosopher
Gottfried Leibniz's monadology, are the ultimate elements of the universe, individual percipient beings, and MSH is similarly composed of small, individual modules the user puts in interrelation.
Microsoft Security Essentials MSE was codenamed after the
Morro de São Paulo beach in Brazil.
[68 ] [69 ]
Internet Explorer 1 Internet Explorer 1, first shipped in
Microsoft Plus! for Windows 95: The codename O'Hare ties into the Chicago codename for Windows 95: O'Hare International Airport is the largest airport in the city of Chicago, Illinois — in Microsoft's words, "a point of departure to distant places from Chicago".
High Performance File System (HPFS) "Pinball" is the nickname (as opposed to a codename) for HPFS because HPFS driver in
Windows NT 3.5 is called PINBALL.SYS.
[71 ] [72 ] [73 ]
ReFS The successor of
Web browser for Windows 10 that does away with MSHTML rendering engine. Refers to Spartans in . Halo
Virtualization update for Windows Server 2008
N/A A cancelled data storage and
management system project based on relational databases, first demonstrated in 2003 as an advanced storage subsystem for the Microsoft Windows, designed for persistence and management of structured, semi-structured as well as unstructured data.
[77 ] [78 ]
SQL Server family [ edit ]
SQL Server 4.21
SQL Server 6.0
SQL Server 6.5
[79 ] SQL Server 7.0
[80 ] Olap Services 7.0
This was the first release of
Microsoft Analysis Services
SQL Server 2000
SQL Server 2000
(code name of
SQL Server Reporting Services which first released in 2004)
SQL Server 2005
[81 ] (Version 9)
SQL Server 2005
(Version 9 - the code name for SQL Server Analysis Services in this release)
Katmai / Akadia
SQL Server 2008
[81 ] [82 ] (Version 10)
SQL Server 2008R2
SQL Report Designer 2.0
[83 ] This is the stand-alone release of the tool for
SQL Server Reporting Services.
[84 ] [85 ] SQL Server 2012
[86 ] (Version 11)
[87 ] SQL Server Data Tools
Will be included in the next CTP of SQL Server "Denali"
[88 ] Power View
A data visualisation tool that will be included in SQL Server "Denali"
Hekaton SQL Server In-Memory OLTP
In-memory database engine built into SQL Server 2014 [89 ]
Developers tools [ edit ]
Visual Basic 1.0
The first version of
Visual Basic. The standard dialogs and controls created by the Visual Basic runtime library all have "Thunder" as a prefix of their internal type names (for example, buttons are internally known as ThunderCommandButton).
Microsoft Visual C++ 4.1
Zamboni, an ice resurfacing machine.
Microsoft Visual Studio 97 Named for
Microsoft Visual Studio 6.0 Named after the popular ski destination
Cassini Web Server
ASP.NET Development Server
The lightweight local Web server that is launched in Visual Studio in order to test Web projects
Visual Studio Team System's Source Control System
N/A Named after the
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in the Outer Banks region of North Carolina
Visual Studio Team System load testing suite
N/A Named after the
Ocracoke Island Lighthouse on Ocracoke Island, also in North Carolina
Team Foundation Work Item Tracking
N/A Named after the
Currituck Beach Lighthouse in Corolla, North Carolina
Team Foundation Server SDK
N/A Named after the
Bodie Island Lighthouse in North Carolina
Online version of Visual Studio.
Currently a research project
N/A A Microsoft research software development kit
Visual Studio Team Explorer Everywhere
This is the name given to the Teamprise suite Microsoft acquired. The product is now named Visual Studio Team Explorer Everywhere
[103 ] [104 ]
Visual Studio LightSwitch RAD tool aimed at non-programmers
Visual Studio .NET (2002) Named for
Mount Rainier, a volcanic mountain peak visible from the Seattle area (where Microsoft is based)
Visual Studio .NET 2003 Named after the town
Everett, Washington in Washington state
[106 ] [107 ] [108 ]
Visual Studio 2005 Named after
Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound [106 ] [107 ]
Visual Studio 2008 Named after
Orcas Island in the Puget Sound
[106 ] [107 ] [108 ]
Microsoft Test and Lab Manager
Microsoft Test Manager, a part of
Visual Studio 2010 Test Professional, Premium and Ultimate editions Named after
Camano Island in the Puget Sound
[109 ] [110 ] [111 ]
Visual Studio Ultimate 2010 (formerly Team System or Team Suite)
N/A Visual Studio designer for building
Windows Presentation Foundation applications, meant to be used by application developers
Lightning, Project 42
Next Generation Windows Services
Microsoft .NET v1.0
Project Lightning was the original codename for the Common Language Runtime in 1997. The team was based in building 42, hence Project 42. "Next Generation Windows Services" appeared in the earliest press releases about the upcoming platform.
[114 ] [115 ] [116 ]
Next Generation C# compiler
Unspecified, speculative to Microsoft .NET v5 or .NET v6 compiler
Roslyn is the next generation of design guidelines for developer tools, which is often highlighted by a C# compiler being written in C# (currently it is C++) and being offered as a service. This would enable scenarios like C# having its own version of the
[117 ] [118 ] [119 ] [120 ] [121 ]
N/A Codename for early .net academic recruiting program. 7 was a prime factor of 42.
WCF Data Services Enables the creation and consumption of
OData services for the web
N/A .NET Framework subsystem for locating and loading assemblies, including
[124 ] [125 ]
ASP.NET AJAX An implementation for
ASP.NET of Ajax native to .NET Framework 2.0
Windows Presentation Foundation Graphical subsystem released as part of
.NET Framework 3.0
Windows Communication Foundation An application programming interface (API) in .NET Framework for building connected, service-oriented applications
Languages [ edit ]
Microsoft Layer for Unicode Named after the play
(centered around the endless wait for a man named "Godot" who never comes), because it was felt to be long overdue. Waiting for Godot
ISAM database engine used in
Microsoft Access (a desktop database management system) and made available as a generic database access API
N/A Jasper provides a data programming interface for
rapid application development. When a Jasper program runs, Jasper connects to the database, determines the database schema, and generates corresponding data classes. This generation step does not occur in source files; rather, the data classes are compiled in memory and are only available for use within the running program.
N/A A developer toolset for building multi-tier web applications
Gaming hardware [ edit ]
Xbox The original codename for the Xbox.
Kinect Motion sensitive control system.
[132 ] [133 ]
Xbox One Successor to Xbox 360
Microsoft's all-in-one, subscription-based service for office, communication, and security software
Schedule+ 1.0 Microsoft's first
Personal Information Manager
Microsoft Office Communicator Web Access 2005
Microsoft Mail 3.0 Microsoft's first
LAN-based email product written in-house
Microsoft Access 1.0
CRM V1.0, Tsunami
Microsoft CRM version 1.0 The platform was initially codenamed Tsunami, but once the decision was made to make it an actual product it was just changed to the initials as the initials were enough of a codename.
Danube Phase I
Microsoft CRM version 1.2
Danube Phase II
Microsoft CRM version 3
Real-Time Communications Server 2003
Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2003
Microsoft Office Communicator 2005
Microsoft Office Business Scorecard Manager 2005
Word for Windows v1.0 for Windows 2.x
Oslo Microsoft BizTalk Server SOA, SQL Server Modeling CTP
N/A Set of
Service-oriented architecture (SOA) technologies
[138 ] [139 ] [140 ]
N/A A screen sharing tool which allows users to take over sessions and interact with remote desktops. No audio or conference facilities.
[141 ] [142 ]
Sharepoint Portal Server 2001
Microsoft CRM version 4 Was originally Kilimanjaro but changed to Titan, as Kilimanjaro was too difficult to spell
Microsoft Bob Intended to be a user-friendly GUI
Microsoft Outlook "Stimpy" was merged into "Ren", which was later became "Wren". "Ren" and "Stimpy" are references to
Ren and Stimpy, characters of an American animated television series. "Wren", a homophone of "Ren", is a reference to Christopher Wren, the architect of St Paul's Cathedral.
Other codenames [ edit ]
N/A Application framework for Smart Clients
N/A Used during the
development of Windows Vista to describe a set of advanced user interface effects for the Desktop Window Manager to be introduced after Vista's release
Zune Marketplace An online music store
Zune A digital media player
cloud service that monitors Microsoft SQL Server deployments
N/A An online content-authoring platform centered around the concept of distributed
Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) and meant to be an alternative to HTML. The developer tools were originally released in beta and some titles were made available on MSDN before it was scrapped in favor of web development around ASP and ActiveX and the designer was refashioned into Visual InterDev.
N/A Aims to: define higher-level abstractions (above "threads and locks"); for today's imperative languages; that evenly support the range of concurrency granularities; to let developers write correct and efficient concurrent applications; with lots of latent parallelism; that can be efficiently mapped to the user's.
N/A Aims to help discover, purchase and manage, premium data subscriptions in the Windows Azure platform
Zune PC Client
Microsoft Research project which aims to design a platform to make developing applications for large-scale distributed computing easier.
Bing Microsoft's set of features improving
Live Search search engine
The Microsoft Network The classic version of MSN, originally as a proprietary, "walled garden" online service
Windows Mobile software for
Portable Media Centers Platform built on
Windows Mobile found on portable media players
[148 ] [149 ]
XML Paper Specification (XPS)
Microsoft PixelSense Table-top style computer with multi-touch touchscreen interface
N/A Windows CE .NET-based technology for
[150 ] [151 ]
N/A Music-making program similar to
Apple GarageBand application
N/A Effort to develop a small, very secure operating environment within Windows, including curtained memory, trusted input, and graphics. Project renamed to
Next-Generation Secure Computing Base, and was never fully implemented.
[152 ] [153 ]
N/A Software based
Windows Media Center Extender
N/A Website in Alpha testing stage providing mashup and webpages creation tools, with publishing as
Rich Internet Application option
TCP/IP stack for Windows for Workgroups 3.11 Named after the
Wolverine, a character from Marvel Comics.
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Further reading [ edit ]
External links [ edit ]